The zodiac chart with its zodiac signs, planets and houses captures the precise moment in time when an individual is born. Each horoscope is like a distinct part of our DNA, and is as unique as an individual’s fingerprint. It is believed that our birth chart represents a map of our personality, and may also describe our soul journey in this lifetime. The horoscope reveals the pattern of what an individual is experiencing. It can be difficult at first seeing a chart and deciphering an individual’s reality. It is also hard to know if that reality is inside or outside and how responsible the person is for that experience.
One of the most used analogies for interpreting a birth chart is to compare it to figuring out a jigsaw puzzle. We are all trying to put together the pieces of the puzzle that represent ourselves, and figure out how we connect with the universe. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts, the horoscope, its parts, all the parts, without exception – are inextricably intertwined with our personality. Learning how to draw up and interpret a natal chart can be quite a daunting experience at the beginning. After reading every book that we can lay our hands on describing signs, natal aspects and houses we eventually reach a brick wall when it comes to synthesizing all of the material together. The various aspects of the chart are seen as a language fitting together like the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle. It is language and through its artful interpretation, we can create a kind of self-portrait of any individual. Each puzzle piece seems like a separate part of that picture, although each piece depicts a specific part of the whole puzzle picture.
According to the mosaic theory of intelligence, small pieces of information are collected that, when put together like a mosaic or jigsaw puzzle, eventually enables us to perceive a clear picture of reality. In the process of doing a jigsaw puzzle/horoscope chart, all the pieces gradually come together and form the bigger picture. An individual’s personality traits are not just separate and unrelated parts, they all fit together to make one whole person. As all jigsaw fans know, a small, apparently insignificant piece may sometimes prove the clue and bring the chaotic picture into some kind of order, and the same goes for the horoscope with each part adding greater insight to the whole picture.
As astrologers, we have to look at how each new piece of information fits into the growing picture of the personality, and those few missing elements are vital to understanding the individual. We may begin with one part of the puzzle – the most obvious piece, but as the picture progresses we see more of the individual. People are really puzzling, but understanding these differences in personality, especially as we can begin to read horoscopes more accurately, will help to improve our relationships with all kinds of people, including ourselves.
In the beginning, piecing the picture together leaves us all feeling overwhelmed and we don’t know where to begin – let alone solve- this kind of puzzle, and make a complex human being out of it. Everything is capable of fitting into one picture, and people are complex beings, and we should show deep respect for the complexity of the human experience. If anything, the astrological chart should be used as a kind of inner compass helping us determine what our values and behavior should be.
A brilliant book to help put these puzzle pieces together is written by Donna Cunningham (actually, she has authored many great writings on astrology). Truly, it will have anybody slotting in horoscope elements with ease:
Many of you have texts stacked to the ceiling. You’ve been to 88 workshops and have picked up so much information that you don’t know where to begin. You probably feel cheated if you come away from a conference without a suitcase full of books and a notebook full of new rules and techniques. You’ve had the mental equivalent of a three-day binge – you’re suffering from the same bloated feeling – but congratulate yourself that now you know more. The trouble is that, when you get home and sit down to figure out what to do with the Anti-vertex, Hades, Pholus, and hundreds of midpoints! How to Read Your Astrological Chart