ElvenStar Studios

Compass Rose Astrology

What is the “Volitional Interactive/Integrative" Interpretive Modality?
Astrology, Chiron, Zodiac, Septagram

I developed this interpretive modality as an attempt to harmoniously blend the cosmological/fatalistic basis of “Hermetic Astrology,” the philosophical/moralistic basis of “Classical Astrology,” and the psychological/situational basis of “Modern Astrology.” I'm pleased with the results, and enjoy using it to assist my clients with their personal healing and growth.

The underlying premise of astrology is that, in accordance with the Hermetic Principle, all beings are integral components of a greater macrocosmic reality. When each being comes into existence (is born), it must fit into the greater pattern of the macrocosm, which can be discerned by the analysis of the Natal Horoscope. The “Interactive” nature of this interpretive modality stems from the interaction between the demands of the macrocosm for individuals to fit into the greater pattern and of the free will and choices of the microcosm (individual). The Imprint of the Natal Horoscope identifies the qualities that we need to best fit into the pattern of the macrocosm; these qualities just do not mystically appear out of the ether because astrology says they are there, they are based upon specific life-events that occur during the time the individual’s personality is formed. Experience has taught astrologers how to identify those events that are the most typical causes behind specific astrological influences. This allows an astrologer to hazard an educated guess about childhood events, sometimes the influences in a Natal Horoscope speak so comprehensively of childhood events that the astrologer can gain a fairly clear picture of what the client’s childhood would have been like to express these influences. But this is by no means an exact science; each individual has his or her own unique method to interpret, internalize, and ultimately express the significance of each defining event and the underlying influences. Please keep in mind that the astrologer is viewing events through a lens that is distorted and darkened by its very nature—the ego-centric perspective of a child with a limited ability to comprehend events, little or no life-experience to provide context for events, little or no control over his or her environment, and an undeveloped (or partially developed) psyche. This can sometimes create a skewed image of the historical reality, but within limits it is very accurate.

However, sometimes this accuracy is not exactly as expected; sometimes the analysis of the horoscope will very accurately describe the client’s childhood experiences, but be off-base in interpreting how he or she developed as an adult. Other times, the analysis of childhood experiences are inaccurate, but the analysis of how an individual turned out as an adult are dead-on. What occurs probably most frequently is that the descriptions of a person’s childhood are distorted versions of reality, especially when it comes to the role of the parental figures in that individual’s life. Frequently, the most lasting impressions that children have of their parents, and the impressions that appear in the natal horoscope, are based upon the worst qualities of the parental figure’s personality. They can be perfectly lovely people who, on a single occasion, acted in a reprehensible manner while in the child’s presence and it is that instance that—perhaps because it was most memorable—the child internalizes and incorporates into the development of their own personality. So sometimes an astrological interpretation will describe the parents as a pair of ogres when they were just plain old everyday Joe and Jane; but the interpretation is still valid because it accurately described the dominant influence the parents had upon their child’s development.

The human capacity for free will is considered to be one of the most powerful forces in the universe; and the human “free will factor” is the primary “randomizing” influence that can lead to divergence between reality and the interpretation of the Natal Horoscope. The perspective of this interpretive modality is that the development of the individual’s psyche is based upon an interactive “dialogue” between the patterns laid out by the macrocosm (the universe) and the free-will and life-choices of the microcosm (individual). This is a vital factor to keep in mind;

No external force or entity in the universe “dictates” our behavior.

While the macrocosm lays out a schematic that defines, in general, the unique place for each individual to fit into the great cosmic pattern, no one is compelled to follow the dictates of that pattern. That is part of the natural give-and-take of the interactive nature between macrocosm and microcosm. For each person and in every instance of each personality trait identified by the Natal Horoscope, an energetic structure is created within the macrocosm that is expressed as an event to stimulate a response that will move the individual’s personal development in a way that fits into the overall pattern.

Each component of a Natal Horoscope can be identified as a specific influence in the life of the individual. Each influence can be perceived as a discrete persona that represents one part of the greater Psyche—the coherent and unified whole of the all of the individual’s qualities, impulses, tendencies, traits, strengths, and weaknesses. Those influences (or personas) that work cooperatively together to the benefit of the individual are Integrated into the Psyche; they are typically known by such terms as: beneficial, benign, harmonious, soft, beatific, strengthening, dignified, easy, empowering, and functional. The influences that are in conflict with other influences, are contradictory, combative, or contrary in nature, or encourage behaviors that do not benefit the Psyche are Non-Integrated; they are typically known by such terms as: harmful, afflicted, discordant, hard, malign, debilitated, detrimental,, difficult, weakening, and dysfunctional.

The integrated or benign influences in a Natal Horoscope represent innate sources of strength and harmony within the psyche, and indicate aspects of the personality that can be counted on to behave in appropriate and positive ways. People with predominantly benign Natal Horoscopes did not face significant pain or difficulty during their formative years and because of that their psyches develop in “normal” ways. They have, in many ways, an “easy life” compared to other people. But they also have little potential for personal growth, and do not have access to the tremendous energy potentials of the other side of the equation.

The non-integrated or afflicted influences in a Natal Horoscope represent areas of weakness, dysfunction, or conflict within the psyche, and indicate parts of the psyche that have a likelihood of acting inappropriately or disruptively. People with predominantly afflicted Natal Horoscopes have usually overcome tremendous obstacles during their formative years and the afflicted influences are indicative of the “scars” on the psyche from that struggle. Frequently, the afflicted influences are representative of behavior patterns that an individual learned as part of a survival strategy while still a child—they may have been functional and appropriate at one time, but once in adulthood, the individual still utilizes those afflicted patterns out of habit, even though they are no longer appropriate, functional, or healthful. These difficult influences represent inner conflict and inappropriate behavior, but they also represent the potential for personal growth and access to reserves of inner strength and energy that is otherwise unattainable.

Nearly all modern astrologers have the conviction that every hard, difficult, or negative astrological influence is representative of both the dysfunctional dynamic of their traditional association and is representative of a potential for transformation, personal growth, and integration. Every afflicted aspect represents both a weakness and a latent strength. It is important to remember this while reading your astrological interpretation:

Every afflicted astrological influence has the capability to undergo transformation from a weakness to a potential for greatness.

At every juncture of our life-path, we as mortal humans are faced with choices about how we choose to express the qualities of one or more astrological influence. This is the “Volitional” aspect of the interpretive modality. The choices we make change the course of our life-path in ways that are both subtle and profound; and in ways that frequently reinforce us for the choice that we made, even if we chose weakness over strength, and experience pain or hardship as a consequence of our choice. It appears that within the human psyche, every time we make a choice regarding a particular impulse or influence it becomes easier to make that same choice in the future, frequently regardless of consequences. The more we repeat making the same choice, the more embedded that decision becomes until ultimately it is no longer an active choice but an ingrained habit that we use reactively rather than proactively making a conscious decision about our best course of action.

Every time the macrocosm asks us to make a choice about acting upon an influence in our Psyche, we have five fundamental options to choose from: we can Succumb to the influence, we can Convey the influence to an external cause, we can Deny the influence, we can Resist the influence, or we can Claim the influence. In the case of the benign and neutral aspects and influences (which are considered natural areas of strength), the choices are fairly simple; to Succumb to or Embrace those influences (although a surprising number of people will Deny or Resist their own strengths due to other, inappropriate, choices that they have made). It is with the afflicted influences and aspects where we face the difficult decisions, and face the most serious consequences. It is in light specifically of the afflicted influences that these five choices become the most relevant.

To Succumb to an astrological influence is to allow it to express itself freely within your psyche and personality without any attempt at regulation, control, or integration. Which is fine if the influence represents a personal strength, and is tolerable if it is afflicted but represents a weakness without destructive qualities (although it limits our ability to engage in personal growth); but if the influence represents a propensity towards engaging in destructive behavior, this choice is tantamount to giving in to your own Inner Darkness. In some situations, this is a slippery slope; you may justify or rationalize succumbing to the influence of an afflicted impulse over a relatively minor event or issue, but that makes it easier for you to rationalize or justify succumbing to the same impulse over more and more serious situations or problems. Eventually, an impulse that was nothing more than an annoyance to yourself or others becomes a pattern of behavior that can adversely impact your life and/or the lives of those around you. This is typically the mechanism whereby perfectly ordinary people fall into criminal, self-destructive, or addictive behaviors.

When an influence is Conveyed, the individual acknowledges the existence of the afflicted influence, but blames that existence upon some outside entity or situation. The person who Conveys their conflicted impulses is attempting to absolve themselves of responsibility for both the impulse and for the consequences of Succumbing to that impulse. “She was asking for it.” “The Devil made me do it.” “They shouldn’t have come in to our neighborhood.” “He made me so angry that I didn’t know what I was doing.” These are all fairly stereotypical examples of someone Conveying their own destructive tendencies. Fortunately, this excuse or life-choice is finding less and less tolerance in the modern era than in previous periods, although some types of Conveyance are still accepted, but now with psychology as the means of providing the excuse; “mental illness,” “temporary insanity,” “extreme emotional disturbance,” “under the influence,” “He has a disease.” In all situations when an individual attempts to Convey their own dysfunctional influences, they are not only attempting to absolve themselves of responsibility for their actions, or to get away with murder (sometimes literally), but they are also absolving themselves of their own power—they are metaphorically giving over their lives and their right to make their own choices to some other power. At some point it ceases to be a metaphor and begins to become the reality—if only in the consciousness of their internal reality.

Some people undergo sudden and violent changes in their personalities or behaviors; they start out being perfectly ordinary adults living a normal life and end up manifesting the most extreme and egregious forms of anti-social behavior imaginable. In nearly every case of mass-murder or sudden rampages (colloquially called “Going Postal”) the news reports the people who knew the perpetrator as saying something like: “He seemed like the perfect neighbor; always so quiet and polite.” Within this interpretive modality, this is the most extreme consequence of someone who Denies the impulse of an influence in their Psyche. Other potential consequences are: sudden and unexpected suicide, a “nervous breakdown,” disease and early death due to stress-related illnesses, self-destructive or addictive behaviors that wind up disrupting nearly every aspect of the person’s life, and the sudden and total abandonment of all of that person’s prior responsibilities and obligations. To Deny an impulse is to refuse to acknowledge that influence’s existence, and refuse to allow it any level of expression in the personality, behavior, or even conscious awareness. While this is an apparently ethical choice, it is extraordinarily dangerous when considering the destructive influences. When a person decides to Deny any aspect of themselves, they do not destroy it, they merely bury it deep in their subconscious and expend vast amounts of their personal energy forcing it to remain there. In Hermetic philosophy, this is called “The Shadow” or “The Dweller on the Threshold.” The energy spent suppressing any part of themselves is bound to that part, making it stronger and more difficult to suppress. Ultimately The Shadow becomes so strong that it cannot be contained or Denied, erupting into the individual’s consciousness, forcing them to Succumb to the influence’s imperatives, taking control over their actions, and behaving in ways that is completely out of touch with their prior character.

A large proportion of the Christian faiths celebrate the option of choosing to Resist the temptation of an impulse and perceive that as the highest good humanity is capable of achieving. It is certainly a more positive option than the previous three choices, but not considered the ideal by Hermetic Astrology. When an individual Resists an impulse, they acknowledge the existence of the impulse, and acknowledge the allure of Succumbing to that impulse, but they consciously choose not to act upon it. Much of the Twelve Steps is based upon assisting someone to stop Succumbing, Conveying, or Denying their addictive influences and to begin Resisting these influences (however the Twelve Steps do try to Convey an individual’s personal power to some “Higher Power”). Most people can live long, productive, and happy lives Resisting the demands of their afflicted influences, but they do not engage in much personal growth, because so much of their energy and attention is focused upon Resisting those parts of themselves that would encourage them to act in unacceptable ways.

One thing that all four of the previous choices have in common is that they are all reactive in response. In each case, the individual reacts—and gives over their personal power and opportunities for personal growth—to the impulses coming from within their psyche rather than taking a proactive stance by Claiming the impulse. To Claim an impulse is to acknowledge its existence, acknowledge that its existence is our responsibility and not anyone else’s, to acknowledge the allure of its temptations, to choose not to act upon it, to accept the validity of its existence, and to seize control of the situation from it. Instead, the individual who Claims the afflicted impulse attempts to embrace it, to understand it, to find its underlying cause, to come to love it, not only because it is an integral aspect of themselves (and hence worthy of love right there), but also to love it because of what that impulse originally provided them. Then, the people who Claim their afflicted impulses transmute the underlying influences in their psyche by learning strategies to address situations that caused the creation of the influence in the first place, by reclaiming the power that the influence has taken, and integrating the influences back into the psyche. In the process, what had been something that was detrimental to the individual’s existence is now the source of some of their greatest strengths.

The option to Claim a malign influence is available any time we are faced with the opportunity to act upon its impulses. These opportunities are most prevalent when the life issues and situations that are tied up with the creation of the influence are experiencing a disturbance, when all the old muck and ugliness of the past is already being churned to the surface of the conscious mind. From an astrological perspective, this typically occurs during a Planetary Transit or Return. Transits and Returns strongly coincide to the occurrence of life-events that can trigger the reactivation of the issues underlying dysfunctional behaviors. Astrologically, the time when life is at its scariest and most chaotic and most painful can be the best time to work to effect positive, lasting change in our Psyche.

How to Read An Astrological Chart
Astrology, Chiron, Zodiac, Septagram

The most common response most people have to seeing their horoscope for the first time is “What does it all mean? How do I read it?” While it's a very attractive design, you have to know what you're looking at before you can make any sense of an astrological chart. I’ve written this short tutorial to aid my clients in understanding the composition of a horoscope, so that when you look at yours you at least know what you’re looking at. To the left is a diagram of a typical Twelve-House horoscope, or astrological chart.

Standard Twelve-House horoscopes are laid out with two anchor-points—the Ascendant—the part of the sky on the eastern horizon at the moment of birth—and the Medium Coeli or Midheaven—the part of the sky that is directly overhead at the moment of birth.

The heavy horizontal line from the Ascendant across to the Descendant is called the Horizon. It delineates the cusp between the 1st and 12th Houses in the Oriental Hemisphere and the 6th & 7th Houses in the Occidental Hemisphere. Anything below that line is Nocturnal, meaning that it was below the horizon at the moment of birth. Anything above that line is Diurnal meaning that it was in the sky at the moment of birth.

In the sample chart shown, the outer-most ring of the horoscope—the plain gray band—indicates the House cusps, which shows the degree and minute of the zodiac sign when one house changes to the next house (in the sample, the 6th – 7th House cusp is at 9 degrees, 21 minutes Virgo). Each of the radial lines in that ring (which also appear in the third ring) represents the cusp between one house and the next. The twelve houses form the background structure necessary for reading the chart—the cusps provide the boundaries for determining what is in each house.

You may notice that the houses are different sizes. ElvenStar Studios uses the Placidus unequal house system, which is the generally-accepted industry standard. The position of each cusp is based upon the location (specifically the latitude) and the season of your birth, and the rate of ascension for the different zodiac signs.

For many people, one of the confusing things when first viewing a chart is that the order of the houses in an Astrological chart appears to be “reversed” from what they should be—the Twelve Houses are counted counter-clockwise starting at the Ascendant in the “east” on the left side of the chart with the bottom of the chart (houses 1 through 6) being “north” and the top (with the Midheaven) is the “south.”

The heavy line running from the Midheaven down the chart is the Meridian, which separates the 9th & 10th Houses at the Midheaven in the Diurnal Hemisphere and the 3rd & 4th Houses at the Imum Coeli in the Nocturnal Hemisphere. Anything to the left of the Meridian is “Ascending in Light;” it is in the process of rising towards the Midheaven. Anything to the right of the Meridian is “Descending in Light;” it has passed the Midheaven and is in the process of “setting” or has already gone beneath the horizon.

The signs of the zodiac—the band of stars that ring the Earth and are used as a roadmap for charting the position of the planets in relation to the earth—are displayed in the second ring (the multi-colored one). The zodiac signs are also displayed running counter-clockwise but they are equal in size with each sign being exactly 30° of the circle.

ElvenStar Studios uses the Tropical (as opposed to Sidereal) system for calculating zodiac position on all charts. The Tropical Zodiac has been the primary zodiac system among Western Astrologers for 2,000 years and depends upon a fundamentally different philosophical premise about astrology than the Sidereal Zodiac. 
In an astrological chart cast by ElvenStar Studios, the position of the zodiac in a chart is dependent upon the location of the Ascendant
. Thus, two people could both be “Gemini’s” (their Natal Sun was passing through the sign of Gemini when they were born), but one person may see the symbol for Gemini in the upper left-hand corner of their chart and the other may see it at the bottom of their chart. This indicates that they were born at different times of day, as the Zodiac signs and the planets completely pass through all Twelve Houses in a 24 hour period.
In the third ring (the outer of the two white rings), the different planets—Sun , Moon, Mercury, Jupiter, Neptune, and so on—are all displayed. As mentioned previously, the lines representing the house cusps are repeated in this ring with the glyph for each planet displayed followed by the degree of its sign, followed by the sign, followed by the minutes. So, in the sample, the Sun is located at 25 degrees, 31 minutes Aries.

In the innermost circle, the horoscope shows the inter-relationship between the different planets. These are called aspects, and are calculated by drawing a line from each planet to the center of the chart (the Earth), and then measuring the arc of the two planet in question. Aspects have names like “trines” (120°), and “squares” (90°), and are shown on the chart by drawing a line directly between the two with a symbol representing the nature of the aspect.
Each type of aspect represents a different type of relationship between the planetary energies, but can be divided into two basic types. The first types of aspect are called Benign (or Easy) aspects such as Conjunctions, Trines, Sextiles, and Semi-sextiles. The Benign aspects indicate that the two planets have a relationship which is mutually supportive an compatible. The other types of aspects are called Afflicted (or Hard) aspects such as Oppositions, Squares, and Semi-Squares. These aspects indicate that the two planetary energies are either competing or in conflict with each other, usually because they have mutually contradictory agendas and/or strategies for resolving their problems. The afflicted aspects demonstrate a high degree of inner turmoil and conflict--to such a degree that those two planets have become a hindrance or weakness--rather than a source of strength--in a person's life.

What is the Relevance of Horoscope Interpretations?
Astrology, Chiron, Zodiac, Septagram
When using your Astrological interpretation, please bear in mind that Astrology is not “fortune telling;” it does not “predict the future,” nor does it determine or show a person’s “fate” or “destiny.” Astrology no more predicts the future than a weather report predicts the future. Astrology is a means of analyzing subtle environmental influences that are not recognized by the Western scientific-empirical paradigm. Factors such as genetics, other environmental conditions, and—most important—free will have just as strong—if not stronger—influence in the development of the individual as the influences of the planets.
Never take any aspect of an Astrological interpretation from ElvenStar Studios (or any other astrological service) as a “predictor of the future” and never believe that the movements of the planets can ever supersede your own free will in determining the direction of your life.
Also, please be aware that, in almost all cases, a horoscope will contain information that seems contradictory, mutually exclusive, or in conflict. These are frequently the most accurate elements of any person’s horoscope because every person is a conflicting mass of contradictory emotions, goals, and abilities. It is the responsibility of the astrologer to synthesize these apparent contradictions—by means of the “Judgments” interspersed throughout the interpretation—to present a cohesive and realistic interpretation of the challenges that are present in each horoscope.
If Astrology doesn’t predict the future, what good is it? Temple of Apollo at Delphi had the words “Gnôthi Sauton”—“Know Thyself” chiseled in the wall where all could see as they sought the wisdom of the Oracle... This statement is as relevant today as it was 2,500 years ago and admonishes all those who would seek enlightenment that the first step in that journey demands self-knowledge. The Natal Horoscope is a powerful tool in making that step because, according to the theoretical foundations of Astrology, each individual’s Natal template “impresses” itself upon a child as the natural pattern, or “Natal Imprint” and that imprint exerts a subtle pressure upon the development of an individual’s personality, identity, and other elements of his or her psyche. The Natal Horoscope then describes the “template” of the planetary influences that existed at the moment of birth (variously described as the moment the infant was separated from its mother’s body or the instant of the first unassisted breath). Understanding your Natal Horoscope (and attendant interpretation) can give you valuable insights into aspects of your personality that otherwise defy explanation. They can explain why, when genetics and environment are so similar, one member of a family is at odds with everyone else in that same family or one brother is a successful businessman while another is hopeless with money but is a fantastic artist.

What is Astrology
Astrology, Chiron, Zodiac, Septagram
Astrology is a complex discipline that has continued to evolve over its 5,000 year history but is based upon a concept that can be explained in a few moments. The Hermetic Principle, the foundation of all systems in the Western Mystical Tradition, takes its name from the Emerald Tablet of Hermes Trismagestos that codifies the core principles and states
As below, so above; and as above, so below; as within so without, each after its own fashion.  With this knowledge alone you may work miracles. And since all things exist in and emanate from the ONE who is the ultimate Cause, so all things are born after their kind from this ONE.
This simple and elegant statement expresses that we human beings are each a Microscosm—and therefore reflections of and integral components of the Macrocosm—the Divine Consciousness that permeates the universe. Like individual cells in an organism, the Microcosm is affected by changes in the condition of the Macrocosm, and changes in the Microcosm effects the Macrocosm. Astrology is one method of exploring how the continual evolution of the Macrocosm—of the Cosmos—affects each and every one of us in ways that are both subtle and profound.
Because of this relationship between “above and below,” one way to think of Astrology is as a lexicon of the language (or music) of the Divine; what Pythagoras called “The Music of the Spheres.” At its core, astrology is an attempt for us—as mere mortals—to communicate with the Divinity manifest throughout the cosmos, to learn to listen to the Divine Harmonies that are expressed by the awesome grandeur of the movements and melodies of the stars and planets, and to translate what we “hear” into a body of lore that promotes our self-knowledge and assists us in our efforts to create more balanced, self-aware, and attuned lives that harmonize with the “symphony of the stars” and expand our awareness of the Macrocosm.

The ElvenStar Studios Statement of Ethics
Astrology, Chiron, Zodiac, Septagram
  • Do no Harm.
  • Earn the trust of others by being trustworthy.
  • Act with honor; treat all people with courtesy, respect, honesty, and integrity.
  • Provide the best service of which we are capable.
  • Exchange service that is at least equivalent in value to what is received. When in doubt, err by providing value greater than that received.
  • Regard all information divulged by clients as confidential; do not divulge any knowledge gained to another person, entity, or organization—save what is needful to protect the safety of the defenseless or required by law.
  • Cherish the wondrous nature of Deity as expressed by the incredible diversity within the human race. All people, regardless of origin or circumstance, are to be considered to be manifestations of the Divine in physical form.
  • Do not presume to judge others by standards that apply to us, but may not apply to them.
  • Know Thyself. The services provided by ElvenStar Studios are intended to assist our clients towards Self-Knowledge, and we must hold ourselves as exemplars to this standard. To serve our clients, we must know—prior to any interpretation, reading, or consultation—whether we are acting from a position of honest self-knowledge and must acknowledge—and negate—all personal agendas that may tarnish the integrity and honesty of our services.
  • Celebrate the free will of others; we will not use our authority, skills, or knowledge to coerce, manipulate, or entice our clients to relinquish their right of self-determination or guide them toward a specific course of action.
  • Avoid hubris. We will not make claims of omniscience, exalted or “ascended” status, or access to spiritual wisdom that others may not access; such claims are false.
  • We wish only for the manifestation of the Best and Highest Good for all people with whom we do business.

My Solar Return
Astrology, Chiron, Zodiac, Septagram

Today is my birthday! In astrology, this day is called my "Solar Return" because today (at 12:43 PM, Pacific Daylight time to be exact), the Sun moves to 28°n59', which is its precise position in my natal chart. The Solar Return is considered to be a time to reflect upon my place in the world, to examine the changes that have taken place in my life--and especially in my perception of myself--over the past year, and to anticipate (and hopefully plan) what I want to accomplish in the coming year. Rather than New Years, the birthday is a much more sensible and natural time (at least astrologically) for me to make resolutions  to become a better, more successful, and happier person.

One of my major birthday resolutions this year is to launch and maintain this blog. Let's hope that I can keep it. <G>

Compass Rose Astrology engages in a much more detailed analysis of a person's chart than simply looking at the Zodiac sign and House that a particular planet occupies. The Compass Rose examines the planetary influences down to the Dwadashamsa. A Dwadashamsa (sometimes shortened to Duad) is one-twelfth of a zodiac sign and is 2.5° wide. Each Duad is considered to express slight--but significant--variations on the overall qualities, reactions, and strategies that are represented by a particular Zodiac sign. In my natal chart, the Sun is located in the very last Duad of Leo--which, by definition, puts it on the Virgo cusp--and is called Cancer of Leo. In Compass Rose Astrology, the Cancer of Leo Duad is associated with the meditative image called "The Ruling Queen:"

She reclines upon a gracefully delicate throne carved from serpentine with mother-of-pearl inlays upon its high-arched back that rests upon an ancient and hallowed millstone. Her long gray hair is intricately interwoven through emerald-encrusted electrum filigree of her elegantly-designed crown. Her scepter of iron and obsidian appears to be crudely made, though it is a greatly venerated artifact from the earliest days of her country's history.  Though she is now quite aged, and her plump belly and breasts are sagging beneath her brocaded gown, the great beauty she possessed in her youth is still apparent in her mischievous, dimpled smiles, and the flirtatious twinkle in her eyes when she apprehends the attentions of the young men in her court. Despite the long--and often bitter--years of her rule, she delights in the company of children, and she has filled her court with her children's children, and with the scions of the courtiers of her youth. Oftentimes the lofty, marble-sheathed hall of her royal court has more the appearance of a nursery than of the center of government of a small, but wealthy and secure land. She is greatly loved by her subjects, who delight in referring to her as "the Crown Mum"--often in her presence, and in her hearing. She knows that she is swift-approaching the end of her days, and she looks upon her life, and her reign, with a quiet sense of serenity and acceptance of all that she has accomplished. Her subjects, however, dread the time when the crown passes to her heir, because he is neither loved nor respected and most people see that the end is near--not only for their Queen's life, but for the era of peace and prosperity that has been her legacy.

Compass Rose Lesson: "Love, compassion, and a gentle hand are the most greatly desired traits to temper the Will and the Right of Rulership."

As each sign of the Zodiac progresses towards its cusp, the energy, responses, and means of expression for that sign are gradually diluted with the energy of the next sign until the last Dwadashamsa is considered to be the "weakest" expression of any sign's particular qualities. This is not always a bad thing, as this Meditative Image and Compass Rose Lesson for Cancer of Leo suggests. Leo, by the most fundamental qualities of its nature, is highly--sometimes tiresomely--extravagant, indulgent, indolent, and willful. The unadulterated energy of Leo is terrific for someone who can spend his or her days ordering other people around and having sycophants fawn upon their every whim. Leo is the Native Sign (the sign that most perfectly addresses the life issues of a particular House) of the Fifth House, which is the House that indicates much of our creativity, as well as how we play, our relationships with children, our ability to be sexually playful, and the relationships we form with sexual partners who are not our spouses. This association with the 5th House emphasizes that Leo is the sign most strongly associated with Eros, or sexual love, and with a playful and carefree celebration of one's sexuality. However this influence is substantially mitigated in Cancer of Leo by the Cancerian compulsion (which is substantially fear-based) to engage in both nesting and nurturing behaviors with other.  For some people with this Duad strongly expressed in their charts, this influence guides them to rely upon their Leoine sexuality to give and receive nurturance, and/or they find that they must engage in nesting behaviors in order to feel comfortable with expressing their sexuality.



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