|== Interpreting Signs ==
As Shakespeare said "All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players". The planets are symbols of the players in a chart, whereas the signs represent the role of the players. The houses represent the stage itself. In a birth chart, the planets or points represent psychological processes and the people that reflect those processes. In a horary or mundane chart, the planets represent people and things. In each case the sign describes the strength, character, style and abilities of the psychological element, person, entity or thing. An analogy might be a video game, in which the characters each begin the game with a particular set of characteristics, abilities and resources. During the course of the game they may gain additional tools or have other changes, but they generally remain the same character throughout the game. Similarly, the planets in a chart begin with a certain set of characteristics and as they transit through the signs, they modify those characteristics, but still retain the same basic nature as seen in the birth chart.
Since each planet represents particular drives or people, the planets already have a mode of behavior which is then modified by the sign the planet resides in. For example, Mars is a planetary energy that represents force, action, sex drive and self-interest. It might also represent a man or authority figure. Mars in Aries is very direct and aggressive. It is like a double Martian effect, since Aries is ruled by Mars. But, it also gets to act in a way that is natural to the planet, and this brings out its best traits. In this sign, Mars is said to be dignified. Mars in Libra on the other hand, would indicate a desire to avoid conflict when asserting oneself, therefore resulting in a much more indirect expression. Because Libra is far removed from the nature of Mars, it cannot act in a natural way. Assertiveness, decisiveness and drive are all weakened in this sign, but diplomacy and peacefulness are increased.
The sign ruler
The eight planets and the two luminaries provide ten major players in the drama of a person's life as represented by their natal chart. These ten players can have different roles as represented by the twelve zodiac signs. But each sign has many different forms of expression, and this is determined by the ruler of the sign. Each sign is ruled by a particular planet and the condition of that planet affects the nature of the sign. The sign ruler is the force that drives the sign, whereas the sign itself is the passive reflection of the ruler. So the action or expression of a sign is described by its ruler, and its appearance by the sign itself. Planets that rule more than one sign describe a higher and lower range of expression, which is why the modern rulers are called "higher octaves" of the traditional ruling planets they have replaced...please see the full article
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