Theory of Planetary Astrology
General vs. Individual Astrology

The Precedence of the General over the Individual

In the beginning of divination by the stars the astrologers only made predictions for the national destiny, which surrounded the king. For instance an eclipse generally foreshadowed a change, which usually meant the fall of a kingdom or dynasty. It was only centuries later that the destiny of individuals was considered. However even Ptolemy, who established the system we use today in his classic text, the Tetrabiblos, which summarized and extended the methods of ancient astrology, claimed that the general had precedence over the individual. (See Ptolemy's Tetrabiblos.)

Ptolemy wrote that the national destiny had to be taken into account when considering an individual's destiny. Even if an individual's chart were strong, if the nation was in the midst of collapse, this would override the person's good fortune. His point was that the greater had to be taken into account when considering the lesser. The family fortune takes precedence over the child's and the nation's fortune takes precedence over the family’s. This also holds true in Planetary astrology, where the Earth's astrology takes precedence over the individual's. Or more to the point, the general astrology of our beautiful planet must be taken into account in connection with the individual's own heavenly configuration when making decisions based upon planetary interactions.

The General Astrology of the Earth

The Earth's astrology? This is the general planetary configuration that is pulling upon our planet, independent of individual alignments. This is what this website is all about. For instance at present - August 9, 2007 - three of the inner planets, i.e. the Sun, Mercury and Venus, are coming into conjunction with Saturn and opposing Neptune. This dynamic configuration dominates the astrological landscape. Noting the power of this alignment the planetary astrologer asks what connection does the individual chart have to this general configuration. Because Saturn is at the end of Leo, those who are born at the end of the air and fire signs are in good shape - initiate something new and dynamic. Alternately those born at the end of fixed signs of Taurus or Scorpio are in bad shape - lay low, rigidity backfires. The individual chart is interpreted in the context of the general - the Earth's chart. All the forecasts on this website are based on the general astrology of the Earth.

Tidal Interactions

There are two reasons for the precedence of the Earth's astrology over our individual chart. The first has to do with tidal interactions, while the second has to do with starting points. Let's tackle the tidal first. This has to do with the real tidal forces of the planets upon the Earth and hence upon our blood. This is most obviously seen with the high tides of the Full and New Moon, and the neap tides of the first Quarter and Third Quarter Moon. And because waves maintain their integrity no matter how small they are (this is why we can listen to a multitude of radio stations and watch myriad channels on TV) each of the planets also exerts a real, albeit tiny tidal force upon the Earth and hence upon our blood. These real tidal forces overwhelm any individual resonances that may have been set up by our birth chart. As an example Jupiter in Sagittarius is coming into square with my Sun in Pisces - a difficult aspect having a negative effect upon mood, prosperity, and prosperity. However at present the Sun and Mercury in Leo are in fire trine with Jupiter - channeling his energy in a positive manner towards the Earth. Instead of wallowing in pessimism and discouragement I have been inspired to create this theory page on this website right now. I have learned to always look at the general first and the personal in context to it.

The Starting Point

The second reason the Earth's astrology is more important than our individual chart has to do with starting points. The Chaldean's liver divination based upon the point of sacrifice probably led to the birth point as characterizing an individual or the moment of the eclipse as characterizing the new kingdom. (See The Chaldean Contribution.) Although many elaborate theories have been posed to explain this phenomenon, we will leave it as an experimental truth, not a theoretical one. (It has been established experimentally in the sense that millions of people, of varying intellectual capabilities, throughout the last few thousand years, have found the starting point to be of importance as witnessed by the continuing prevalence of horoscopes despite the many assaults from the Left Brain types who worship logic.) The starting point of a child is the general planetary configuration at his/her birth. It has nothing to do with the mother's chart. In fact to determine the potential relation between mother and child the astrologer will examine their natal horoscopes in relation to each other. No astrologer asks to see the mother's or father's chart when forecasting an individual's astrological destiny. They only want to know what the configuration of the planets with respect to the Earth at birth, the starting point for the child. This is the natal horoscope. Similarly this website indicates positive and negative starting points through the general configuration of the planets with regards to the Earth. For instance I am about to advertise this website on This is a starting point. I am not concerned with my personal chart at all and am only choosing this time because of the quadruple conjunction combined with the new Moon. This is happening at my Midheaven and it is in a good relation to my Mercury/Uranus trine, but this was only discovered after I made my choice. While these personal considerations could have been a factor in my motivations they have very little to do with the importance of the general starting point, which stands independent of the individual.

Alignment with the Divine Trumps All

Lest we get too overwhelmed with theory and philosophy let it be stressed that individual alignment with the Absolute, the Universe, God, Allah, the Tao, the Whatever, trumps any planetary considerations, whether individual or general. Meditate. Seek quietude. Pray. Listen to and obey the Little Voice that emerges from the Void. Be aware of the Return of the Yang. Beware of the corrupting nature of the red dust of cultural conditioning. If you are aligned with the Divine nothing else matters. You can do no wrong - no matter how afflicted your chart is. And no matter how good your planetary configuration is your actions are doomed to create more problems than they solve, if you are not aligned with the Divine. So all of these astrological motivations derive from quietude rather than any conscious decision upon my part. Let me express gratitude to the powers that be that have allowed me to hear their directives and have the courage to follow them.