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Ask Kevin: Ascendant and Personality

Ask Kevin: Ascendant and Personality

Pauline Asks: 

Can you comment on how the Ascendant influences the personality vs. the house position of the Sun? The reason I ask is that my chart has been rectified several times, and I am still not sure I know my Ascendant.

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Phase 3 Skills: Building a Chair

Phase 3 Skills: Building a Chair

Phase 3 is where the art of astrological interpretation comes into play.

All forms of art combine objective standards with subjective expression. The rules and structure may not be obvious, or easy to appreciate without training, but they're always present. The objective standards provide the support for the subjective expression.

Astrology is a language, and the rules of grammar and syntax are the objective standards. These rules don't limit what you choose to say in your interpretations, but they do define how you say it. 

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Donald Trump: An Astrological Portrait

Donald Trump: An Astrological Portrait

Donald Trump will be remembered as one of the most polarizing figures in American history. As of March 2016, Trump is the frontrunner to be the presidential nominee of the Republican Party. He has made headlines and dominated virtually every news story since he announced his candidacy in June 2015.

I've gone on record and explored the past and future of Trump's campaign from both an astrological and a psychological perspective (see Trump TV: The Season Finale in the June/July 2016 issue of The Mountain Astrologer). Trump will not be elected President of the United States. He may well end up being the Republican Party nominee, but it won't work out well for him if he is. 

Recent Comments
Guest — hMh
Can you plse. Elaborate on how you deduced that he will not win the presidency and comment on transiting planets to these aspects ... Read More
Sunday, 01 May 2016 19:45
Guest — hMh
Can you elaborate further please on your comment about Trump not winning the presidency and the transiting aspects that informs yo... Read More
Sunday, 01 May 2016 19:46
Kevin Burk
My predictive astrology article on Trump comes out later this month in the June/July 2016 issue of The Mountain Astrologer. Transi... Read More
Sunday, 01 May 2016 19:49
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Ask Kevin: Scorpio and Sagittarius in the First House

Ask Kevin: Scorpio and Sagittarius in the First House

Aldry Asks: 

“I have some important placements in Scorpio, which naturally makes a person introspective, reflective, mysterious, deep, and hard to open up to others, right? But what happens when these placements — Scorpio Ascendant, Moon, and North Node — are in the 1st house? I read that when a planet is in the 1st house, the characteristics of this planet will be more visible to others. So in my case, with my Moon in the 1st house, would this make my reactions more obvious, and would it make me more easy to open up to and more emotional? I also have Pluto in Sagittarius in the 1st house.”

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Phase 2 Skills: Drafting a Blueprint

Phase 2 Skills: Drafting a Blueprint

Astrology does not predict behavior.

Behavior, which includes your choices, the events in your life, and how you experience those events, is external and relates to appearance. Astrology doesn't evaluate appearance. Astrology operates beneath the surface and reveals the essence.

The patterns in your birth chart express throughout your life, over and over again, in millions of different ways. If you look at your life from the surface and consider the appearance, it's impossible to make sense of it. 

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Beware the Astrological Bubble

Beware the Astrological Bubble

The other day, I read this post in a Facebook astrology forum:

"I have noticed something with people who have planets in Virgo. Why do these people have issues drinking pure water? When asked why they don't like water, they can't tolerate the absence of taste…"

The person who posted the question probably encountered someone who didn't like to drink pure water, and who also happened to have a few planets in Virgo. They took an isolated, anecdotal incident from their "little r" reality, and decided that it must be a universal Truth for everyone with planets in Virgo.

This is a stunning example of what I'll call the "Astrological Bubble." 

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Ask Kevin: Chart Variants

Ask Kevin: Chart Variants

Krystel Asks: 

”I have just learned about different types of charts and would like to know the difference between a natal chart, a progressed chart, and a relocated chart. Also, I have calculated my natal chart using astro.com and ifate.com, and I see differences between the charts. Any advice?”

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Phase 1 Skills: Reading the Chart

Phase 1 Skills: Reading the Chart

Interpreting a natal chart isn't a simple skill. It's not even a complex skill. Interpreting a natal chart is a process. This process breaks down into three distinct phases, and each phase requires its own set of skills that must be mastered through consistent deep practice.

I call Phase 1 of the chart interpretation process Reading the Chart. The skills of Phase 1 allow you to identify and recognize the different glyphs and symbols in the chart wheel.

It may surprise you that this is actually a skill. 

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Right-Click Astrology: Contextual Keywords in Interpretation

Right-Click Astrology: Contextual Keywords in Interpretation

If you've ever used a computer, you've seen a contextual menu. They're available in almost every program. When you right-click your mouse, a pop-up menu shows the options available to you in your current context.

Of course, you can't right-click a chart and see the options available to you for interpretation. This is unfortunate, because context is critical. Each symbol in astrology has multiple meanings, and the choice of keyword matters. Understanding the context helps you to make the best choices. 

Recent Comments
Crystal Starheart
Looking at all the astrology software available: Is there any particular software programs that you favor, endorse or support?
Saturday, 16 April 2016 11:52
Kevin Burk
@Crystal Starheart — Choice of software doesn't matter that much. You need a program that supports whatever techniques you want to... Read More
Saturday, 16 April 2016 12:13
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Ask Kevin: Twelfth House Planets

Ask Kevin: Twelfth House Planets

Meg Asks: 

My oldest daughter has her Venus and Sun in the 12th house. I started reading on the Sun in the 12th house aspect and was terrified. One astrologer claims that a person with this placement has a bad or non-existent relationship with their father, due to separation, divorce or death of the father. What is your take on this placement?

Recent Comments
Anne Kelly
Kevin, what if the planet that ruled the 12th house was also in the 12th house. For example, this woman's daughter's Sun and Venu... Read More
Thursday, 13 October 2016 10:15
Kevin Burk
Anne,See this article: http://therealastrology.com/blog/entry/the-twelfth-house-sorrows-shadows-self-sabotage-and-shamu-1.html
Thursday, 13 October 2016 10:18
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Don’t Be Like Wesley Crusher (Go for the B)

Don’t Be Like Wesley Crusher (Go for the B)

One of the most polarizing characters on Star Trek: The Next Generation was Wesley Crusher. Played by Wil Wheaton, Wesley was the son of Beverly Crusher, the Chief Medical Officer on the Starship Enterprise. In a sci-fi show that imagines 24th century technology, the hardest thing to accept was how often a 13-year-old boy managed to know more about the ship than the crew.

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Caution: Multiple Retrogrades Ahead

Caution: Multiple Retrogrades Ahead

The astrological forecast for April and May is turbulent. Proceed with caution.

From April 18 through May 9, 2016, four planets will be retrograde, including Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto, and when Mercury turns retrograde on April 28, it brings the total to five. Jupiter goes direct on May 9, but the other four planets remain retrograde until the Mercury turns direct on May 22, 2016.

As long as you know what to expect — and have a few strategies to navigate the unexpected obstacles — this can be a very productive period. 

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Ask Kevin: Tropical vs. Sidereal

Ask Kevin: Tropical vs. Sidereal

Line Caya Asks: 

I look at natal charts with the tropical and sidereal system and try to make up my mind on what system I should use. I read your article concerning the subject but it's still not clear to me. 

Is it possible to use the sidereal system for some items (like the Nodes) and the tropical one for others?

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How Many Tools Do You Really Need?

How Many Tools Do You Really Need?

I've often observed astrologers move from class to class and workshop to workshop, learning new tools and techniques. There's nothing wrong with learning, of course. But tools only have value if you use them.

Metaphorically, most astrologers have a garage full of fancy tools, and yet they can't build a simple chair.

Tools are an important part of practical astrology. But you have to choose the right tool for the right job.

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Mars Retrograde: How Do You Get There From Here?

Mars Retrograde: How Do You Get There From Here?

When was the last time you asked yourself what you truly want?

Desire is a powerful force. Your desires, goals and intentions fuel you. Not only does desire set your destination, it fuels your journey as you pursue your dreams. It's important to be clear about what, specifically, you want.

Sometimes knowing what you want isn't enough. Sometimes you have to look deeper and ask yourself why you want the things that you want. 

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Electional Astrology: When Is a Good Time to Throw a CD Release Party?

Electional Astrology: When Is a Good Time to Throw a CD Release Party?

Electional astrology is a type of interrogatory astrology where you choose or elect a time for an important event so that the chart of that event optimizes the chances of a desirable outcome.

Astrology isn't magic. You can't elect a chart that will guarantee you'll get a winning lottery ticket. And the chart of an event is not the event itself. It's not the experience of the event, and it doesn't provide a definitive description of the outcome of the event. 

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Astrological Talent Code

Astrological Talent Code

Occasionally, if you're very lucky, you will encounter a book that changes your life.

I was fortunate enough to come across such a book in the summer of 2012. I had enrolled in an online cartooning course facilitated by Sean D'Souza. The first assignment in the course was to purchase and read this book, which had nothing at all to do with cartooning.

Sean wanted us to read the book because it would help us to understand why the cartooning course was structured the way that it was, and what we would have to be willing to do to develop cartooning skills. The book was The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle. It explores the nature of talent, and how to develop it. I don't exaggerate when I say the book changed my life. Without The Talent Code I never would have established The Real Astrology Academy, and there certainly wouldn't be a Talented Astrologer Blog. The Talent Code reveals the truth about talent. And one of the most important truths is that you can't become talented by reading books or attending classes.

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Chairspotting: The Essence of Astrology

Chairspotting: The Essence of Astrology

The natal chart is not a crystal ball. No one can look at your natal chart and discover the intimate details of your personal life. That's what Facebook is for.

The events in your life, your choices, and your experiences are external and relate to appearance. Astrology doesn't do appearance. Astrology operates beneath the surface and reveals the essence.

And the essence of astrology is being able to spot a chair. 

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Ask Kevin: Synastry Aspects

Ask Kevin: Synastry Aspects

Kittie Asks: 

What do the following aspects in synastry denote: Ones Saturn squaring the others Sun and Moon, ones Sun conjunct the others North Node, and ones Chiron conjunct the others Venus?

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To Certify or Not to Certify: That is the Question

To Certify or Not to Certify: That is the Question

A number of professional astrology organizations offer testing and certification. The National Council for Geocosmic Research (NCGR) offers a rigorous four-level certification program. The American Federation of Astrologers offers its own levels of certification. In North America, these are the most widely recognized astrological certifications. Many astrology schools offer their own versions of certification and accreditation.

Before you decide if you want to pursue becoming certified, you must remember two important things:

  1. There is no requirement to pass a test or obtain any professional certification in order to call yourself an astrologer.
  2. Being a certified astrologer does not automatically make you a talented astrologer. 
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