What Makes Astrology Fuzzy?

by Kevin B. Burk

Astrology promises that your unique birth chart can be used as a guide to understand everything about yourself. But whether you’re trying to learn astrology online or you’re having your chart read by a professional astrologer, you never quite get a clear image. 

There's definitely something there when you look at your chart, but you just can’t make it out. And even if you do see something clearly, you can't see how it fits in the bigger picture. It's too fuzzy.  

Kevin B. Burk

Headmaster, The Real Astrology Academy

Kevin B. Burk is the Headmaster of The Real Astrology Academy.  Burk has been counseling professionally as an astrologer since 1996, and has clients around the world. He holds an NCGR-IV Certification in Astrological Counseling, and his website, TheRealAstrology.com is one of the premiere astrology resources on the Internet. He is the author of over a dozen books, including Astrology: Understanding the Birth Chart (Llewellyn, 2001) and his latest book, Principles of Practical Natal Astrology: Talented Astrologer Training Book 1 
(Serendipity Press, 2015).

The problem isn’t astrology. The problem is how we’ve been using astrology for the past century.

The best way to illustrate this is to look at the difference between a telescope and a microscope.

Telescopes look outward and explore the macrocosm, while microscopes look inward and explore the microcosm. They both use the principles of optics to magnify objects so the human eye can see them, but they’re not interchangeable. You can’t flip a telescope to see the bacteria in a drop of water, and you can’t flip a microscope to see the moons of Jupiter. 

For more than 2,000 years, astrology was used to explore the macrocosm. It answered questions about external events. Astrologers in the late 19th century began to use astrology to explore the microcosm of the personality. But they did this by flipping the telescope. They took the same approach that works to answer questions about external events and tried to adapt it to answer questions about internal experiences. 

For the past century, astrologers have tried to modify the telescope to explore the microcosm, but no amount of adjustment will ever bring the natal chart into focus. Interpreting the natal chart requires a microscope, not a telescope. 

I spent 20 years building a better telescope to try to bring the microcosm of the natal chart into focus.

I started with the same three lenses every astrologer uses: the planet, the sign, and the house. Then, I looked for ways to improve those lenses to see the chart more clearly. One of my early innovations was to split the house lens into two lenses: one that considers the houses a planet rules, and the other that considers the house the planet occupies

I also discovered that you can’t interpret the planets or houses directly.

The symbols in astrology represent lots of different things. Saturn relates to responsibility, authority, boundaries, and limitations to name a few. The Eighth House relates to debt, shared resources, other people’s values and opinions, taxes, and inheritances. If you try to interpret Saturn ruling the Eighth House, there’s too much going on, and the image will always be fuzzy. But if you choose only one expression of the planet and one expression of the house—for example, responsibility for Saturn and debt for the Eighth House—the image is much sharper. 

But the most important discovery that I made revealed the reason astrology is so fuzzy. 

The zodiac signs are what make astrology fuzzy.

The shocking truth is that when it comes to understanding the natal chart, the zodiac signs get in the way. They’re not practical. If you keep the lenses in the traditional order and look at the planet, then the sign, and finally the houses, you will never get a clear picture. 

But if you switch the lenses and first consider the planet and the houses it rules, everything snaps into focus. 

It turns the telescope into a microscope.

Here’s an example of the difference this makes. 

My Saturn is in Aries, a Cardinal Fire sign. It rules my 8th house, and occupies my 10th house. The image is an illustration of the blueprint for how the planet, sign,  house ruled, and house occupied fit together.

My astrology students get very excited about this because it's clearer than anything they’ve ever encountered before, and it seems to integrate the planet, sign, house ruled and house occupied. It looks like you can use this template to identify specific behaviors and experiences.

But it’s not that simple. 

I created this approach, and I’ve done more work with it than anyone else. This is my Saturn in my chart…and I can’t figure out what this means to me, or how it shows up in my life. This doesn’t tell me anything practical about how I experience responsibility or debt. And it's definitely not something I could talk about with a client to help them to understand themselves. 

But if we swap the lenses and start with Saturn ruling my Eighth House, everything changes. 

When a planet rules a house, it IS that house. So my responsibility IS my debt, and my debt IS my responsibility. This means that responsibility itself is debt. And that’s when the light bulb turned on for me. 

I completely understand where this idea lives in me. I take responsibility—and especially responsibility to other people—very seriously. When I make a commitment to someone, it becomes a debt. It takes on an extra layer of obligation. It's a very big deal to me.

And I've come to realize that it's only a big deal to me

Other people don’t automatically feel the same way about responsibility. That was always frustrating and confusing to me. But now, for the first time, I can see this pattern clearly. It's in focus. I see how it’s played out over and over again in my life. And I understand that it’s personal to me, so I know that I have to adjust my expectations of other people when it comes to responsibility. 

Now, when I add the lens of the sign (Aries), I can see even more detail.

The debt of responsibility that I experience is aggressive (Fire), passionate (Fire), initiating (Cardinal), and impulsive (Aries). Aries literally lights my responsibilities on fire. When I have a responsibility, it demands my immediate attention. I can’t put it off. The debt that I owe with that responsibility has to be repaid immediately. I have to put out the fire before I can do anything else. 

I've always been this way. Now I understand why. 

Because my Saturn in Aries is in my 10th house, when I handle my responsibilities, they’re PUBLIC.

Repaying my debts of responsibility to other people is a huge part of my brand. It’s what I'm known for. When one of my students has a question or a concern, I can’t rest until I've done everything in my power to answer it. 

I have been studying my own chart since 1995, and I’ve never seen it so clearly or had this kind of insight. 

This is what astrology was supposed to do.

This is why I studied astrology.

This is what I was always looking for: a light bulb moment.

I've discovered the way to bring the chart into focus. All you need to do to turn on the lights so you can see it clearly is to connect the Universal Puzzle Pieces of the planets—the big, abstract concepts that make you human—with the personal puzzle pieces of the houses.  

You can experience this for yourself with Personal Practical Astrology.

Personal Practical Astrology is a guided journey into your unique birth chart. It’s a structured program of self-discovery and personal growth that combines video classes with a comprehensive custom workbook to help you understand and explore your unique birth chart. 

Personal Practical Astrology focuses on how the Universal Puzzle Pieces of the planets connect to the personal puzzle pieces of the houses in your chart. Each planet represents two Universal Puzzle Pieces, and each house represents two personal puzzle pieces. This gives you a total of four identity statements for each of the twelve houses in your chart. The workbook explores each of the identity statements in detail. 

Personal Practical Astrology is the most comprehensive, most accurate, and most practical exploration of your birth chart you have ever experienced—guaranteed!

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