Diviners get information from nature. Augurs study the songs and flights of birds. Sacrificial diviners observe livers and entrails. Astrologers study the sky. Connecting with nature makes a good beginning for reading charts intuitively. Using imagination, let’s observe the sky in the chart.
If you were given a piece of paper and asked to draw a simple picture of the sky, one of the first marks you might make would be a horizontal line to indicate the earth. You’ll find the same line in an astrology chart. It cuts across the middle of the horoscope, running left and right, or east and west. This is the horizon line, where the earth meets the sky.
Everything above this line was in the sky at the time for which the chart was cast. Had someone tilted their head toward the heavens just as your life began, the upper half of your chart shows which sky objects they might have seen. The stars and planets in the bottom hemisphere of your chart weren’t visible; these were shining for the other half of the world. (If you don’t have a copy of your birth chart in front of you, it would be good to get one now.)
“Horoscope” comes from the ancient Greek words hora (meaning “time”) and skopos (meaning “observer”). Like clocks, astrology charts observe the hour. They tell us what time it is. We read time in the chart the same way we read it in nature (if we’d lost all our devices). We rely on the Sun, which appears to move from east to west throughout the day and disappear at night.
Let’s find day and night in the horoscope. Perhaps you’ve already figured this out. It’s simple. If the glyph for the Sun (s) appears in the top half of a chart, it’s daytime. If the Sun appears in the bottom half of a chart, it’s night. Where is the Sun in your chart?
What else can you observe about your birth sky? Were any celestial lords hovering overhead as you took your first breath? Let your imagination start to play with this picture. If you were born in the daytime, you wouldn’t be able to see any planets, of course. But the Moon is visible in daytime. If you find her glyph (o) in the upper hemisphere of your chart, in a sign different from the Sun’s, she would likely have been visible in your birth sky.
You can also tell whether the Moon is waxing or waning. If she appears directly across from your Sun, or nearly so, you must have been born near the Full Moon. If the Moon isn’t opposite your Sun, imagine there’s a line that goes from your Sun to this point opposite. This imaginary line now divides your chart in two.
If your Moon appears to the right of this line, she’s a waxing Moon. She’s heading away from the Sun toward her Full Moon culmination. Gently visualize her moving forward in the chart until she reaches the Full Moon position, when she’ll be opposite the Sun (he’ll have moved ahead too by the time she reaches him).
If your Moon is to the left of your imaginary line, she’s waning. She’s heading toward the Sun for their next New Moon rendezvous. See her moving into conjunction with the Sun. Gently circle her glyph around the chart again, away from the Sun and back. You’ve just visualized a lunar cycle.
If you were born at night, what was in your birth sky? The Sun’s glyph will be in the lower hemisphere. Any planets in the upper half indicate what could have been seen with a naked eye or telescope. Our eyes can find Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. For Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto, we need a telescope.
The Sun of course is bright and any planets close to it will disappear from our view. This is a condition known as “combustion.” In some branches of astrology, it’s said to weaken a planet, although I’ve seen it work the other way in people’s psyches. Planets that are close to the Sun can enjoy their proximity, like a trusted advisor to the king. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. For now, just notice generally where the sky objects appear. This is one way to start awakening your diviner eyes.
If you’d like more practice, flip your chart around and visualize the sky that the other half of the globe was viewing when you were born. Planets that were setting in your world would soon be rising for them. In other words, your 7th house will be their Ascendant.
Excerpted from Naked Astrology