Natal chart with no foreground planets

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Stef
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Natal chart with no foreground planets

Post by Stef » Sat Nov 19, 2022 8:40 am

Hello forum folks,

I need assistance deciphering the character of a natal chart with no foreground planets. I've never seen this before. Additionally, the native has sun in Cancer and very close, hard aspects that all happen to be background in the chart. The native and I have strong sexual compatibility and he has a very successful and stable career, along with normal, friendly relationships (albeit, sexually deviant at times). Is there a level of deep repression in this chart that is concerning for our relationship? Does someone with this configuration primarily seek expression through their relationships with others? Any insight is appreciated! Thank you.

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August 4, 1990
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Jim Eshelman
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Re: Natal chart with no foreground planets

Post by Jim Eshelman » Sat Nov 19, 2022 9:34 am

What a great question! - Sure, let's dive into this first in principle, then in the particulars.
Stef wrote:
Sat Nov 19, 2022 8:40 am
I need assistance deciphering the character of a natal chart with no foreground planets. I've never seen this before.
I've only seen a few. In most senses, there is nothing unusual about them (you don't have to do anything special with these charts), but talking about them gives us the chance to understand others (more general cases) a little better.

If we consider the foreground to be 10° either side of a major angle in PV longitude, this is 20° out of every quadrant. With 10 planets you will have about two planets foreground in every chart, though we see wide ranges from zero on up.

The simple answer to your question is: Having no foreground planets means nothing at all. Nothing directly, at least. Observations over time have suggested that VERY BROADLY people can be classified as having personalities that are judged too much or too little - or some Goldilocks mean of "neither too much nor too little" - depending on whether they have unusual excesses of foreground planets, background planets, or middleground (neither fore nor back), respectively. (We can come up with less judgmental terms if we need them, but I think these reflect how people first [judgmentally] experience them.) With almost half of his planets deeply background, your friend may fall in the "he brings too little" category - but (I emphasize) this is a very general indicator, perhaps broadly useful but not too important.

You ask about repression. I wonder if you think he is withholding. He may simply be internal, not inclined to externalize. We're all on this planet to discover who we are, and some people do it best by hurling themselves out into the world and seeing what they get back from it. Others keep all the drama inside themselves as unfolding, mythic toned "passion plays." Most people have a mix of these. -- We need to go a little further before coming to any conclusion that he is repressed or withholding; but, especially with the two most Yang planets background, he could (for example) seem something like the monastic, contemplative type of Sagittarian. Again, too early, I'm just making casual observations and mental notes at the start. Perhaps modelling my thinking process is more useful than giving a concrete rule.
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Re: Natal chart with no foreground planets

Post by Jim Eshelman » Sat Nov 19, 2022 9:59 am

Additionally, the native has sun in Cancer and very close, hard aspects that all happen to be background in the chart.
The original question seems to come from the idea that we look at certain basic things when we analyze a natal chart, including luminary signs, angular planets, and important aspects. However, when one of these isn't there, it doesn't necessarily mean anything. For example, sometimes people try to say that folks with few aspects are simpler, less complicated. I've thought that at times (and then wondered if it wasn't my own projection, since decoding them with astrology is more straightforward). But mostly it means nothing.

The basic approach to natal analysis is to read what's there... prioritize stronger things over less strong things... and don't worry too much (at first) about what's not there.

For most people, Sun and Moon signs make up maybe 80% of their basic character. It's really that simple most of the time. This will be strongly customized by strong aspects to the luminary, and it has to fit within the context of other powerful things in the character, but those core luminary sign traits (fitting into the context of the person's specific life) are still the best single tool we have for knowing someone's temperament. (Add Mars sign for things that might be missed, especially as they strike out into the world.)

First off, then, your friend is a Cancer-Sagittarius, or a double Jupiter type. (Your "thing" for Sagittarian luminaries is no big mystery from your own chart.) This might cause us to look specifically at his Jupiter, which we find to be middleground, well-placed by sign, and closely opposite Moon. He has a lot of Jupiter.

This gives us our first "hook" into him: It can be elaborated to the extent of your knowledge of Jupiter. But Saturn is nearly as strong with the partile Moon-Saturn conjunction.

Digression: With the pending question of whether he is repressing or withholding, my eye is now (looking ahead and) landing on his very close Moon-Venus-Saturn opposition. Yes, he is emotionally cautious and all the other things that go with Saturn to the two emotion-themed planets. (Saturn is 1°00' from Moon on one side, 1°05' from Venus on the other, so the trio is organized as Saturn = Moon/Venus less than 0°03'.)

When I first look at his chart, I see: Cancer-Sagittarius luminaries; Moon's strong aspects to Venus, Saturn, and Jupiter; and Sun's strong aspects to Mars-Pluto. These filter out the Venus-Saturn and Mars-Pluto aspects as the biggest DYNAMIC stuff in his chart. I now have a springboard to the core of the chart: This is a fundamentally Jupiterian person with Venus-Saturn and Mars-Pluto aspects being the main thrust to examine with him. It's possible I would never need to know anything else about the chart (except to flesh out the distinctive Cancer and Sagittarius themes). He's a Jupiter person with very powerful Venus-Saturn and Mars-Pluto.
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Re: Natal chart with no foreground planets

Post by Jim Eshelman » Sat Nov 19, 2022 10:38 am

You rightly observed that there are strong aspects that are all background. Or, to refine that a little: Moon-Venus-Saturn (with Jupiter aspecting all three of them) are middleground - stressed neither too much nor too little. I would be more concerned with the Sun-Mars-Pluto because those planets are deeply background. It's quite a fair question whether their deep background nature is important; and, if so, how?

Here's where we have to move outside of astrology because, as best I can tell, the answer comes down to knowing how he was raised - how his early life went. Basically, we're looking at whether these powerful background aspects are a problem.

Here's what we know: His chart has very powerful dynamic energies - dynamic aspects of three planets that all theme to self-centered, self-before-others, egoic energies. Their aspects demand expression. Yet they are placed in locations in the chart that are among the least likely to find external expression. What happens when the internal pressure in the firehose is that strong? It depends on the integrity - the overall health - of the firehose, which either does its job perfectly well or blows out.

What forms could this take?

One of the most common is health. This chart could be a timebomb of blood pressure, cardiac concerns, inflammatory diseases, etc. I'm not saying that the chart says this directly but, rather, than lifelong inexpression of these powerful energies often would cause that. - If he doesn't have serious health issues and all his health numbers are good in his early 30s, this probably isn't a concern right now.

Or, this could all be characterological. Some of this comes back to formative environment. We have someone who instinctively knows he should be important, should have something to contribute for which he can receive recognition and be esteemed and included by those around him; yet, the background Sun, Mars, and Pluto suggest that he feels the world never gave him a chance to shine as a distinctive somebody, to act and show his strength, to simply be himself without {bs}. In practice, most people have a little resentment, a small number have massive resentment which comes out in socially disruptive and even criminal behavior, and a small number (usually privileged or with extraordinary parents) got all the right messages on how to find esteem in things true to themselves. - Which is he? The answer isn't in his chart but in his history.

Anger is an obvious topic to explore. How appropriately does he express it? How does he handle frustration? Are there other areas where he has very strongly externalized his "I am a man!" needs, as in profession (you said he's had success there)? How have the various categories of Mars behavior (power, profession, sex, anger, ego-distinction, etc.) developed in him?

With the Moon-Venus-Saturn, one might wonder about the Sun-Mars-Pluto in terms of early love and nurturing. He surely has at least a need to prioritize work and accomplishment over pleasure, and there may not have been the emotional strengthening that Sun-Mars-Pluto needs in order to operate in a balanced, happy way. (Or, there may have been: Early love can accomplish a lot, and for a Cancer that early maternal bond is crucial. Whassup regarding his mother?)
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Re: Natal chart with no foreground planets

Post by Jim Eshelman » Sat Nov 19, 2022 11:01 am

Does this give what you need in understanding how to approach this chart (and charts like it)? Feel free to ask questions.

From what we already have examined, we know many other things about the man (including where we need to make inquiries to learn just exactly how this stuff has worked out in his life thus far). By bringing our understanding of people in general to this concentrated knowledge of the essential dynamics of his character, we will find that we know many other things about him that, at the moment, we don't yet know that we know. Everything else in the chart probably can fit in the context of what we already know. It's a bit of "fill in the blanks."

For example, I haven't mentioned his close Mercury-Uranus trine: He's bright, probably a little glib, and has an interesting turn of mind. I haven't sweated how Neptune's aspects to Mars-Pluto tweak the above (it probably adds more drama, more imagination, and frankly makes the Mars-Pluto a little more interesting). Venus sextile Mars and conjunct Jupiter shows he's sexy and probably playful (I haven't done a full sex breakdown, but Venus in Gemini adds to the sense of play - probably the most fun part of him). And so forth.

Overall, he's a Cancer - making the lunar needs especially important - and Moon's aspects are mixed and especially caught up in the Venus-Saturn. Sun is background under powerful, Yang-intensifying aspects that need free expression and probably won't get it. Mercury isn't too important for a Sagittarian; its aspects make his mind weird enough to be interesting; but he likely feels people don't listen to him (perhaps because he talks about weird thoughts <g>).

Venus is complicated and probably of great interest to you: It's moderately placed, in Gemini (which I think might show off very well in this chart/person), but not well aspected. Most of this will center on the Venus-Saturn and Moon-Venus-Saturn dynamics. Venus' strongest aspects are one luminary and three malefics. Mars is a bit of an awkward planet for a Cancer, is deeply background, is in Pluto's sign and 0°02' from opposite Pluto - so you know that combination will be important! (and in a solar constellation while aspecting Sun). Jupiter is exalted, moderately placed (middleground), dignitary of both luminaries, and not horribly aspected. Saturn (always awkward for a Cancer) deepdives into the emotional, nurturing, love-related side of him: This is the area for growth in his life (depending on how that life started).
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Re: Natal chart with no foreground planets

Post by Stef » Sat Nov 19, 2022 11:33 am

This is so helpful, Jim! Thank you! So much information here to dig through. I think your overall assessment is very accurate. Thank you for also commenting on the fairly minor weight of the Neptune aspects. I was primarily looking for any warning signs about him as a character, but from what you've said I feel better about this. His health and career are good, but he's estranged from his mother and has been for some time.

I think this really showed me the importance of looking at the chart as a whole, rather than narrowing in on one or two factors.

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Re: Natal chart with no foreground planets

Post by Jim Eshelman » Sat Nov 19, 2022 11:56 am

I think this really showed me the importance of looking at the chart as a whole, rather than narrowing in on one or two factors.
Get a first impression of the "central mass" of the whole person, their core nature. This article has meant the world to me over the decades: https://www.solunars.com/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=2335

A useful tactic is to identify what the few strongest things are in each category: The strongest signs, strongest planets by angularity, strongest aspects, and when possible find a planet or two that everything else seems to hinge from. You're looking for the few things that make all the difference, that aren't going to be contradicted by anything (no matter how strong), and that therefore have to live together inside a healthy person with each part having its own voice and expression.

Everything else fits in the context of that.

After that, the Cosmic State report in TMSA might be your best friend: Having gotten the gist, the "central mass," you can then see how each piece works on its own. The CS report lets you see everything about any one planet at a time and you can see how important things are at a glance. In using this, you're probably usually looking for whether one of the planets is in an especially good or bad state, or perhaps trying to zero in on one side of a person. - But always this will exist in the context of the main core nature of the person.
The native and I have strong sexual compatibility and he has a very successful and stable career, along with normal, friendly relationships (albeit, sexually deviant at times). Is there a level of deep repression in this chart that is concerning for our relationship? Does someone with this configuration primarily seek expression through their relationships with others?
One slight surprise from what you wrote is that this chart doesn't speak very loudly of atypical sexual variations. (Don't feel obligated to comment on this paragraph.) Mars-Pluto can be socially confrontational and more broadly want to break the rules. The Sagittarius Moon tightly conjunct Saturn and closely opposite Jupiter tends to be excessively "well-behaved," perhaps from excessively strict, narrow, judgmental religion-infused upbringing. The main picadillo is Sagittarius Moon's well-known leaning toward extreme dominance-submission themes as part of the sign's "vertical separation" authority side. Usually, Sagittarius is portrayed wielding the flail but, if I had to put a buck on the barrel, I'd guess this boy is obedient.

His Moon is in your Sun sign. Your Moon-Pluto connected to his Sun-Mars-Pluto - with Moon-Sun being 0°04' wide, and Moon-Mars themes seeming the loudest - might make me change my mind about who is 'top,' but the broader confirmation of the "strong sexual compatibility" is that Moon-Mars will... well, you already know the pattern at its best and its worst, I think. With Moon-Mars, a main point is to "keep its hands busy" and not give it too much idle time to get grumpy.

I'm curious: How is the communication? Moon-Mercury interchanges are usually great for it while Mercury-Saturn interchanges tend to sabotage it ("not listening" stuff). Which way does yours swing?
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Re: Natal chart with no foreground planets

Post by Jim Eshelman » Sat Nov 19, 2022 12:53 pm

Stef wrote:
Sat Nov 19, 2022 11:33 am
I think this really showed me the importance of looking at the chart as a whole, rather than narrowing in on one or two factors.
I would shift this a little: More than looking at the chart as a whole, we need to look at the person as a whole. Mature psychological health only exists when all the "characters" of our nature coexist, each having its place of expression in our life. Once you understand the primary core - those FEW things that are so strong that nothing will ever displace them - then you have a context for understanding everything else in the chart.

Find the person in the horoscope.
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