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by Judy Collins, ASA Education Director

Interpretation of a chart does not need be a struggle. If you take the chart apart in some systematic order, it seems to unfold for you. Over my 30+ years of doing astrology, I have developed a "rhythm" in reading for clients. It took years of jumping around the chart. There were lots of things I knew I had missed, which frustrated me. No…it does not takes hours to go through this process, but it takes practice to say what is important, get feedback from client, and point out where each aspect of his life comes from in the chart. Since February, I have gone through John Kerry’s chart in my Education speechES, and below is the list of steps I laid out. It is not the only way, it is my way. For some clients who are more familiar with astrology, I do the reading accordingly. After the natal reading, I do the Solar Arcs, transits, eclipses and New and Full Moons for the 6 months. It works for me….see if you like it too.

Delineating a Chart

Ascendant – "Window to the World"
Your projection for others to see
What you need to "be" in this life
The part you play

Sun – How your ego performs best
The soul’s ability to create
Your way to be "different"
How you recover & move forward
    House –
Your Best Performance

Moon – All that you have ever been
Memories to pull from –
People & things we need for security
Where we can change & our ability to survive –
    House –
Expect Change

Ruler of Chart – Personal key to use
The direction to go
Silent Partner
The Hidden Force that drives you
    Sign – What you need to improve
    How will you succeed?
    How others know it is you
    How you "Walk your walk & talk your talk"
House of Support

Mars – Do life your way
Points the right direction for you
Where you want action
Forward or Frustration
    Sign – This is my way to do it
House – Where to Begin

Configurations – I earned it/deserve it
This is my mission
I need to do the "Work"
Grapes to Wine or Vinegar
Houses – Where I need to focus

Closest Applying Aspect – Soul’s intent
The last thing chosen by the soul
Always watch this aspect
Powerhouse Aspect

Planets at the Degree of Nodes – Karmic Bully
Rut in the road
Did it before – I’ll do it again
Waiting in the wings
The Habitual Planet

Angular Planets- Powerful & Dominant
Motivation for the Soul
Gatekeeper of the Planets
Carpenter of the Soul
Planets in Charge

Mark Aspects – Applying & Separating
Past Lives vs. Present Life
Balance & Evaluate
Sun, Moon, Ruler of Chart

Critical Degrees & 29º, 15º Fixed & Retrogrades
Let’s Get It Right Lifetime
Been There….Done That

Karmic repeaters
Same ‘ole story again
I do it "my way"

Houses – Sign – Ruler w/Aspects
Houses – Give Meanings
Sign – Describe what sign does
Ruler – What sign & house is the ruler found & its aspects

Planets in the House w/Aspects
Planet – Describes the energy
Sign – The manner of the energy
Aspect – Type of flow between planets


8:03 AM MWT
Denver, CO

Ascendant  – Sagittarius:  Optimistic, Rugged, Spiritual, Fun loving, Scattered, Never finishes anything, Wants no boundaries or fences.  GO FOR IT

Sun – Sagittarius– Goal planner, Philosopher, Enthusiastic, Judge & Jury, Freedom.   DON’T FENCE ME IN
House – 1st
Self is important. 

Moon – Gemini:  Fun, Sociable, Nervous, Excitable, Chatty, Sensitive to others.   BUTTERFLY
House – 7th
Mother Me, Please 

Ruler of the Chart – Jupiter:  Believe me, I know best, Go anywhere – Do anything, No time to be bored  LIFE IS A GAME
Sign – Leo – 
I’ll show you how!
House – 8th
Let’s share

Mars – Gemini:  Let’s talk about it, I’ve got an idea, Sarcastic
House – 6th
Let’s get busy
Retrograde –
Oh, no!

Configurations – NONE

Closest applying aspect:  Mercury inconjunct Uranus.  Mentally challenging, can be overwhelmed with work, you work in spurts

(Sun opposition Moon) Life is in conflict

Planet at Degree of Node – Pluto: Life needs to be transformed. 
Venus square Pluto –
what you want may be what you don’t need (prostate cancer), don’t make promises you can’t keep

Angular Planets – Sun, Mercury, Moon, Saturn, Venus

Sun - Self is Important - 1st House - lazy, creative, philosophical, judgmental - Scarlett O'Hara

Mercury - Great Talker - 1st - debater, talks before he thinks, communicator - Nervous Nelly

Moon - 7th - Sensitive to others, wants a mother, security is important - People Pleaser

Saturn - 7th - Security in marriage, must learn from others, must learn compromise - Lone Wolf

Venus - 10th - Success in career, financially rewarded

Venus Square Pluto - Karmic Payback.


Mark Aspects - Applying & Separating

Critical Degrees - Moon - emotionally sensitive, insecure, or shutdown

Retrogrades - Mars = different course of action-indirect approach in life
                      Saturn = different kind of responsibility & purpose in life
                     Uranus = Appears more orthodox than the norm - can handle upsetting things out of his control
                     Pluto = Manipulates in covert ways

First interpret the chart by meaning of house – then the sign on cusp, ruler of house, its sign and house placement, finally its aspects

1st House – Meaning – Sagittarius – Jupiter in Leo – in 8th house – all Jupiter’s aspects

2nd House – Meaning – Capricorn – Saturn in Gemini Rx – in 7th house – all Saturn’s aspects


After the above….Delineate the planets in the house w/aspects

Planet – Define by its meaning

Sign – Explain the manner of expression

Aspect – Delineate each

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