Parents in the Natal Chart Jerome Asks: “Besides your birth date, don’t you really have to have the birth dates of your parents? Don’t they have anything to do with who a person is?” Kevin Answers: Jerome, Thanks for an excellent question. We don’t need a person’s parents’ charts when interpreting a natal chart, because who that person’s parents actually were is largely irrelevant. What is important, however, is how the individual experienced his or her parents, and that can only be seen in a person’s natal chart. The parents in a natal chart are represented by the 4th and 10th houses. The 4th House is the father and the 10th House is the mother. I emphasize this because these are the classical definitions, and for some reason modern astrology has reversed the two. (Actually, I suspect I know the reason, but I won’t get into it here.) The best way to see the parents in a natal chart is to look at the rulers of the 4th and 10th houses: these are the individual’s parents—or to be more precise, these represent how the individual experienced his or her parents. Personally, this is one of the areas where I find classical astrology and essential dignities to be invaluable in interpretation. The relationship between the two planets (aspect and reception) will tend to describe the relationship between the parents. And aspects between the ruler of the 1st house (which represents the individual) and the planets representing the parents will describe connections between the individual and his or her parents. Let’s take, for example, a person with a Taurus Midheaven. This person’s Mother will be represented by Venus (the ruler of Taurus) and his father will be represented by Mars (the ruler of Scorpio, the sign on the 4th House Cusp). If Venus is in Virgo, this person may have experienced his mother as being very picky, detail-oriented, even highly critical. If Venus is in Pisces, on the other hand, he may have a more idealized experience of his mother, and feel a very deep, spiritual bond with her. Mars in Capricorn might indicate a father who was strict, but very fair and supportive; Mars in Cancer, one who may have been ruled a bit too much by his emotions, and may tend to lash out. A trine between Venus and Mars indicates a strong, harmonious relationship between the parents; a quincunx or opposition can sometimes indicate fights, disruptions, and even divorce. Where this becomes particularly fascinating is in the study of family dynamics: looking at the charts of two siblings, and seeing how each of them had a very different relationship and experience with their parents. The parents didn’t change; but what mattered was how each child experienced and perceived their relationship with them.