Good Chart Bad Chart – Astrological Alchemy

Why A Bad Astrology Chart Can Make A Great Person

When astrologers look at a birth charts they look at many different factors and then make an interpretation based on these. One of the ‘facts’ of the birth chart is the angles or aspects that the planets make to each other. Another fact is the patterns that these aspects make.

Funnel Chart

Let’s take the example of someone born with five planets in the sign of Aquarius and one planet in the sign of Leo which is the opposite sign (180 degrees away). Their natal chart would look like a bunch of planets on one side of the chart and one planet directly opposite them, on the other side of the chart. This is called a funnel chart, the single planet being the tip of the funnel. It indicates someone who has much intense energy expressed through a particular life theme indicated by the single planet and the house of the chart it occupies. A birth chart is divided up into 12 houses which symbolise different domains of a person’s life for example work, family, relationships.

However it will not be an easy flow of energy as the 180 degree angle between the planets is called an opposition. Say the five planets in Aquarius were focused on communicating (third house) in a humanitarian way (Aquarius), this would manifest through the planet in Leo which is in the ninth house (opposite the third house). The ninth house is linked to foreign countries, far away from home. The person may be passionate about teaching and helping others and this takes place in developing countries. They need to leave the comfort of their home life to be able to express this planetary set up. This is the challenge of the funnel chart.

Splay Chart

Another type of chart is a splay chart where there are three groups of planets in different signs distributed equally around the chart. This would indicate a person who is good at many different things and does not like to be tied down to a routine. The planets would make 60 degree angles to each other which are called trines and are easy, flowing aspects. If the groups of planets made aspects with not just one other group but two groups then there would be a pattern called a  grand trine which indicates a very talented individual with a wide range of abilities that they are able to integrate well.

Splash Chart

A further chart is a splash chart where the planets are dotted all over the chart. This can indicate a “Jack of All Trades, Master of None” personality. The planets may make right angles with each other which are called square aspects in astrology. This is considered a very challenging aspect to have as the energies of the planets are working against each other.

Even more challenging is when the splayed planets are making right angle squares with more than one other planet. If four planets are involved we get a Grand Cross. Astrologers interpret this type of pattern as incredibly challenging for an individual. There will be lots of character building episodes in their life but if they surmount them then it also makes for a very strong person with a lot of depth.

So, why is a bad chart good?

Superficially, were an astrologer to look at the chart of a new-born they would hum with approval if they saw lots of easy angles between planets. That child may be born with the gift of the gab,  charm, good looks, intelligence, a sense of humour. Things will come easy to this person, they won’t have to try too hard to get what they want. On paper they have a glowing life set out ahead of them.

The fact is however that these people don’t always amount to that much. If you have always got what you wanted and never had to try, never had to struggle to pass an exam or find a way to make money, then you take life for granted. These people can be superficial and manipulative.

Interestingly, when I scanned some celebrity charts to find an example I had difficulty. It reinforced the idea that it is difficulty, restriction in a chart that causes a person to strive and search. This may be a striving for attention and recognition but it can also be a striving for understanding which leads to depth and breadth of personality.

We Grow Through Our Constraints

Those with difficult charts strive to find solutions. If you accept or are at least open to the idea that a soul chooses to incarnate into a person/chart with a certain set of parents and life events, in order to learn specific lessons and evolve, then these bad aspects are what the soul has chosen in order to hone and polish itself. This leads to  depth and durability, inner strength, spiritual awareness (whatever form that might take) and compassion. This acquaintance with suffering can lead the person to heal others once they have healed themselves and learned the way.

An example of a ‘difficult’ chart is that of the Dalai Lama. With sun sign in Cancer he has Saturn, the planet of restrictions and hardships opposing his moon which represents his emotions. This would signify much sacrifice, lack of emotional support and heavy emotional weather in his life. Another person with  this type of aspect could be insensitive or uncompassionate, not the Dalai Lama.

Or Do We?

Of course not everyone is able to meet those challenges and some choose to opt out. An example is the chart of Marilyn Monroe. The planet Saturn features significantly again however in her chart it squares her moon. This is considered to be an even worse aspect than the opposition of the Dalai Lama. Her biography speaks for the rest.

So know that when you are struggling with a difficult transit or chart, if you keep going, you are slowing undergoing astrological alchemy. What seems on the outside like suffering and bad luck is actually soul refinement. I will end with one of my favourite quotes from  Elisabeth Kubler – Ross:

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”


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