Natural Balance

Greetings to you and 2015! To start the year I am sharing with you my method on calculating the relative natural balances in a chart using an example to guide you though my process. 

Balance monkey

This method is taken from my notes and is of my own devising crafted from over 20 years of research and testing. It requires a little bit of adding up simple numbers but I have found it to be a reliable method of acquiring a basic understanding of the forces at work in the background of a chart.

The balances of a chart are basically the different weights and emphasis given to factors like the Elements, Fluids, modes, temples, quadrants and hemispheres. We measure and weigh each part of the chart and add its tally to each of the factors we choose to weigh. So, for example, for the balance of Elements we would count up all the planets in Fire and turn them into a number which communicates how much Fire there is, and then we do the same for the other Elements.

It is important to note and remember that this is a measurement of quantity and not quality. The quality aspect of a chart is in its fine print – the details like aspects, dignity and the interrelation of all the parts blended together – but also and primarily the quality of astrology emerges from the awareness of the entity that the astrology belongs to.

The real skill in determining astrological quantity is in deciding which objects we count and which carry greatest weight. If you end up adding thousands of named asteroids you will probably distort the essence of the picture with too much data, but on the other hand you do not want to leave anything of significance out. Additionally, there is the question of whether some objects, like the Sun and Moon, carry greater ‘weight’ and so contribute a greater quantity. This is the part I have spent my years tinkering with and present to you below.

As an example for the method I will take you through the balance of the Elements shown in the chart for German diarist Annelies Marie Frank, otherwise known as Anne Frank. Her chart is reproduced below and was chosen for its timely reminder of her message and the accuracy of her birth time.


To assess the balance of a factor we have to consider and weigh up several objects in the chart. The strength I give each factor (Element, sign, temple etc.) is based on the following scheme:

• Factor with a Light: +4 (each Light)
• Factor with Mercury, Venus, Mars, the ascendant or midheaven: +3 (each object)
• Factor with any other planet including Chiron or either of the lunar nodes: +2 (each object)
• Factor with the ruling planet, the ruler of the midheaven, a sign on the 4th or 7th temple, or a sign with a planet in rulership or exaltation: +1 (each condition)

You may note that there are no deductions – even a fallen or debilitated planet adds a quantity rather than detracts some.

You may also note I have given equal weighting to Jupiter, Saturn, Chiron, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto and the lunar nodes. This may irk some, in which case you could drop the parts that bother you a category, or even entirely. This is where my method has settled because sometimes Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune or Pluto will gain an extra point from being in charge of an angle, which Chiron and the nodes cannot attain because they have no rulership over signs, so the older and more familiar worlds still have a slight weighting advantage.

Below are the traditional exaltations for ease of reference and some new ones for Chiron, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto which I have found accurate (ancient and modern rulerships for the signs have been added in brackets)


Aries: Sun (ruler is Mars)
Taurus: Moon (ruler is Venus)
Gemini: Dragons Head (ruler is Mercury)
Cancer: Jupiter (ruler is the Moon)
Leo: No exaltation (ruler is the Sun)
Virgo: Mercury (ruler is also Mercury)
Libra: Saturn, Neptune (ruler is Venus)
Scorpio: Uranus (ruler is Mars and/or Pluto)
Sagittarius: Dragons Tail, Chiron (ruler is Jupiter)
Capricorn: Mars, Pluto (ruler is Saturn)
Aquarius: No exaltation (ruler is Saturn and/or Uranus)
Pisces: Venus (ruler is Jupiter and/or Neptune)

For rulerships of signs I advise using whatever is comfortable for you, ancient or modern, or both, but stick to it. I use both.

Also, when you are working up some factors you will need to modify this method slightly. When working out a balance for temples, quadrants or hemispheres ignore the +3 for the ascendant and midheaven and the +1 for an object in a sign on the 4th or 7th temples. Otherwise you will skew your results using the method as it is written. All other additions still apply. Also bear in mind that for the balance of temples when determining the position of a planet or Light in the temples you might want to consider the 5 degrees before the temple begins to belong to it, as this has proven to be the case in my practice. A good example of this is below, as you will see: the placement of Mars in the chart of Anne Frank is just 01 minute of a degree before the 2nd temple, and is functionally a 2nd temple planet rather than a 1st temple one.

Anne Frank chart

So let’s get started with Anne Frank’s astrology and see what we can break it down into.

First it will help us to identify a few things. The ruler of the chart is the Sun because Leo is the ascendant. The ruler of the midheaven is Mars because Aries is at the midheaven. Libra is at the 4th temple and Aquarius is at the 7th.

For the balance of the Elements we will look at all Fire signs first, then all the Air signs, then the Water signs and finally the Earth signs, totalling up the items according to the method above.

The Fire signs are Aries Leo and Sagittarius. Anne has Uranus in Aries (+2) and the midheaven in Aries (+3), Saturn in Sagittarius (+2), and in Leo she has the Moon (+4), Mars (+3), Neptune (+2), and the ascendant (+3). Aries exalts the Sun, Leo does not cause exaltation, and in my own practice I use Sagittarius as the exaltation of Chiron, but none of these apply. Nor does she have Sun in Leo, Mars in Aries or Jupiter in Sagittarius, so she cores no points for sign rulerships. However, Mars is also the ruler of midheaven (+1), bringing the total for Fire to 20.

The Air signs are Gemini, Libra and Aquarius. Anne has Sun (+4) and Mercury (+3) in Gemini, but the Sun is also the chart ruler (+1). She has no planets in Libra or Aquarius but they are given the 4th and 7th temples, adding +1 for each. Mercury is ruled by Gemini, Libra by Venus and Aquarius by Saturn/Uranus, and so because she has Mercury in Gemini in her chart this counts as a sign with a planet in rulership, adding another +1. Gemini exalts the Dragons Head, Libra exalts Saturn/Neptune and Aquarius does not cause exaltation, so having neither the Dragons Head in Gemini nor Saturn or Neptune in Libra, she gains no points here for exaltation. Her final total for Air is 11 – just over half of what she places in Fire.

The Water signs are Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces. Anne has Pluto in Cancer (+2) and the Dragons Tail in Scorpio (+2). Neither Pluto nor the Dragons Tail are in rulership or exaltation, they do not rule the chart or the midheaven, nor are they in signs which control one of the 4 angular temples. The final score for Water is therefore 4.

The Earth signs are Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn. In these signs Anne has Venus, Jupiter, Chiron and the Dragons Head (all in Taurus), for a total of +9. Venus is the ruler of Taurus and also in Taurus, adding a further +1, there are no exaltations involved and no Earth sign is in control of the 1st, 4th, 7th or 10th temple, so the final tally for Earth is 10.

This analysis therefore produces a balance of Elements summarised below:

Fire: 20 (High)
Air: 11 (Moderate)
Water: 4 (Low)
Earth: 10 (Moderate)

While it might seem complicated at first it soon becomes possible to do much of this in your head and figure things out quickly, provided you remember the method and the exaltations and rulerships of the planets. Give it a go using your own chart and see what the balances of the various factors have to tell you about your path. And please remember that just because you have a lot or a little of something, this does not imply strength or weakness – that part is all to do with the quality of things and what you do with them. What is shown here is a natural balance that sits deep within our nature and towards which we lean. It is not always something that we need to level up, level out or change in any sense, it is merely what is and what we return to when the natural way of things is in equilibrium.

This sharing is enable by kind donations, so if you enjoyed it please consider supporting further posts on Patreon.


8 comments on “Natural Balance

  1. I was just thinking about sending you an e-mail when I got one with this post as an update, coincidentally. I also saw the W3AreOne project and will check it out late, because it sounds interesting. I have sent you and e-mail with a request for some help. Best wishes.

  2. Hello, thanks for the post!
    You say that these caracteristics don’t represent things that needs change.
    Can you say something of how it relates to magical equilibrium of the elements?
    Or, asking in a slightly different way: it means that the magical equilibrium in the astral body doesn’t require a equal ‘quantity’ of the elements?

    • Exactly, Gabriel. 🙂 The magical equilibrium is not about making sure you have an equal ‘amount’ of each of the Elements, equilibration is not the same as equalization. The task is to be in a state of harmonic balance with all 4 Elements, not to make them all the same and even them out. In some cases, though, in order to be in a state of equilibrium with the Elements, you may have to increase or decrease the level of your connection to that Element. In other words equalizing the quantity aspect of the Elements is sometimes part of the hermetic initiatory process, but not always. It is however always about the development of the quality aspect of the relationship.
      To put this another way that is perhaps more understandable to the astrologers reading this, just having a lot of an Element does not make it good and having a little does not make it bad. If you have a chart bursting with Fire its what you do with it that makes it destructive or creative. Likewise if you have a little Fire its probably a problem if you have confidence or self esteem issues, but not if what you do with it instead is to make ‘a little will go a long way’ 🙂

    • “To be honest, I can’t imagine how anyone could say ‘I’m weak’ and then stay that way. If you know that about yourself, why not fight it, why not develop your character?” (7/16/1944)

  3. Very interesting article! Are degrees also of any significance for the balance of Elements? For example, we have ascendant at 5Sc01 and a planet at 5Sg20. Or in any other sign at the same degree… The planet could be very powerful in this case.

    • Yes, degrees are significant. I would suggest you look at midpoints, as many such relationships show up more clearly in that form.
      The first sign (Aries) is the most Electric, the last (Pisces) the most Magnetic. Every degree also has an Electric-Magnetic balance. The first degree of a sign is the most Electric, the last is Magnetic. The midpoint of a sign is the balanced degree. A “balanced degree” can help reorder things or reveal the imbalances. Heavy emphasis on early degrees or late degrees is a subtle way in which the Fluids can stack up.
      The Sabian symbols express this E/M degree character in symbolic form. Take a look at Libra 15, the exact midpoint of the zodiac.
      A massive area to explore here!

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