Mistaking signs for planets
Lately I've been thinking about the way that astrologers talk about the zodiac signs. Some of them talk as if the signs are planets. Planets are analogous to functions, and signs are the manner in which we perform those functions. So, Mercury is the function of thinking, Mars is the function of getting stuff done, Jupiter is the function of expanding ourselves socially, and Saturn is the function of contracting ourselves socially, etc. It's important to get back to basics like this.
Without the planets, we wouldn't even need the zodiac. The zodiac is a map to mark our foundations and track our developments through life. Since our development is both cyclical and evolutionary, we are not just going in circles. In fact, Irish poet and mystic W.B. Yeats described our soul journey as moving in spirals which extend ever upwards. He points out that if we get stuck somewhere, we are probably stuck with some other person, repeating nasty karma which holds us back. If we move upward in the spiral it is because we are functioning well, not because we are faithfully executing a Scorpio or Virgo behavior.
Planets are more fundamental in the horoscope than are the signs. When someone says "I am a Capricorn", it is not even a third of who or what we are, even if they were born in January of 1992, when there were two outer planets and the Sun all in Capricorn. No matter how much Capricorn nature is there, the real crux of the matter is that the planets Neptune and Uranus are with the Sun, and they are all required to function together. It is not really about being Capricorn (though it would happen anyway).
Planets in conjunction like that (or in opposition or square) present a challenge because it comes with strong emotions, even in the sensible earth signs. When there is strong emotion, much can and does occur in life which brings further emotion. There is a story within the set, and it brings big drama over and over again. The drama must be recognized, and the story needs to be taken by the reigns, for only then will creativity happen, instead of mere reaction.
One such person who was born with a Neptune, Sun, Uranus conjunction was artist Garrett Borns, born on January 7, 1992. He began his career as a child magician, and then moved into the rock music scene. Though a Capricorn nature can be ambitious, it is the Neptune-Uranus functions which are paramount here. Garrett was born into socially fortunate circumstances, so we naturally see an optimal expression,
Confusing house position with planet or sign is another tendency I see. House position is an easy target but not always helpful immediately. Each house contains many variables of expression. For instance, a stellium of planets in the 3rd house can suggest a salesman, a scientist, a city planner, or a writer or artist, among other things. If the sign is Pisces we think of poet or musician but that is putting the cart before the planetary horse. It is tricky but not difficult.
Here is a secret. The house which a planet governs is the story of the development of that function. The house which it lives in is just its area of expression. If a planet is in conjunction, square or opposition to another planet, then there will be developmental and emotional tension relating to the houses which they each govern. The story becomes complex.
The astrologer who understands this process best is Noel Tyl. Other astrologers use it, but they don't explain it as nicely. When I took Noel's course I was taught to put checkmarks on the printed horoscope at the cusp of the houses which were involved in these emotional tensions. This meant that you could not ignore them. They formed the story.
Here is a plug for my book. In it I present the steps for forming those word sentences which describe our emotional dimensions. The trick of course is to apply it to our everyday life. If we don't, we are merely going through the motions, trying for a vestige of comfort and success in life. The real part of us lives inside.
It would be nice to see the correct horoscope of Garrett Borns. I don't have his birth time, so we don't know which houses are ruled by the planets which are in tension with each other, but we can see that at least 6 houses would be check marked. This means that he lives with a lot of developmental (emotional) tension, and, in his case, he releases it into his creative life. That is why I have chosen this time of birth, to have the Mercury ruler of the Midheaven conjunct to the ruler of the 5th house of creativity. Regardless of accurate birth time, hopefully he is reaching deeply enough into his feelings so that his contribution has meaning for others and is not just randomly reactive.