Subtle Influences

I’ve been studying astrology this summer, learning how to read my birth chart, which I had drawn up  a few years ago at one of those computerized sites. The site spit out a reading along with the chart, but I’ve heard those can be impersonal and not exactly on target. The best person to read a birth chart is the person who was born at the moment those stars were in place.

So I’ve been memorizing glyphs and discovering my planets and houses and aspects and now, finally, I am writing out a full report on what the stars say about me. I’m synthesizing all the information (there is a ton of it) into a big picture. You would not believe how accurately the stars spell out the major events of my life. 

But this is a little bit beside the point I want to make. Which is, why am I doing this? What do I have to gain from it? How will it help my writing project? And before today I had to admit that this little hobby would not influence or help my writing in any way. At least not this story. Maybe in the future I’ll have a character who is an astrologer, but nobody like that is knocking on the door of my imagination right now.

Then, while writing my morning’s 1000 words, I found myself using the language of astrology in a long passage. I usually have trouble with love scenes, but these fresh metaphors allowed the scene to practically write itself. Must be Venus in my fifth house, which, for those of you not into astrology, is the house of joy in creating.


  1. This is great! There must be something about this time in our lives that drives us to learn more about who we are. Do you have a good book you can recommend? I am just starting the work with my chart. A friend, who also studies astrology as a hobby, is going to take a look. I think the only limitation to what we learn is when we say we know enough.


  2. First I spent years reading my monthly horoscope from Susan Miller’s site, She got me used to seeing horoscope in terms of planets and aspects. Then I used an online article “how to learn astrology fast” by Marcia Sacks. Her site is She gives the basics in 10 quick tips. I just went down her list. After that, two books helped me, Kim-Rogers-Gallagher’s “Introduction to Astrology” from Llewellyn’s 2010 Daily Planeeetary Guide. Kim takes you through the stuff Marcia tells you to study;-) Then I used Stephen Arroyo’s “Chart Interpretation Handbook” especially Chapters 3-8.


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