Astrology and Personality: Your Star Self

birth chartAstrology is often thought of as a prediction system (who you should marry, the best times to plan events, etc.), but it is also a very rich and complex system of personality information—much more than just your sun sign. Regardless of whether you “believe in” astrology, it provides a spiritual/metaphysical lens of exploring the different parts of your personality and how they relate to each other.

Your birth chart is a snapshot of the moment of your birth and your identity in the universe. The placement of the planets, signs, houses, and aspects (the relationship of the planets to each other) in it complete the puzzle of your universal identity.

Here is a brief guide to what the planets in your chart may tell you about yourself:

  • Sun—Your Core Self, your essence, the self you show to the public/others
  • Moon—Your Inner Self, your inner child, vulnerabilities, the self you keep hidden
  • ASC—Your Mask, the first impression you make
  • Mercury—Your Mind, intelligence, mindset, thoughts
  • Venus—Your Heart, emotions, feelings
  • Mars—Your Energy, passion, fire, actions
  • Jupiter—Your Development, horizon broadening, learning, growth, expansion
  • Saturn—Your Structure, discipline
  • Uranus—Your Originality, uniqueness
  • Neptune—Your Dreams, fantasies, ideals
  • Pluto—Your Evolutionary Self, rejuvenation, generation, regeneration
  • Nodes—Your Lessons, what you are here to learn and teach

Use these resources for more information:

Free birth chart website

*Reference Tables:

Planets—Your subpersonalities

Signs—The manner in which you use your subpersonalities

Houses—The areas of your life where your subpersonalities are most emphasized

Aspects—How your various subpersonalities interact with each other

*Two good websites for introductory Astrology lessons:

Bob Marks Astrology Lessons

The Mountain Astrologer Beginning Astrology Lessons

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POTENTIAL: Your Future Identity—What empowers you? What holds you back?

Force Field Analysis diagram with for and against arrows

What will you accomplish in the future? What are your plans and goals?

Your guides/supports/opportunities (subpersonalities, role models, mentors, groups, etc.) are forces that can pull you up, excite you, empower you, and allow you to access your best self/Higher Self in order to achieve your goals. These also include activities such as positive thinking, visualization, affirmations, and accountability.

Your gremlins/saboteurs/challenges (inner critic, bullies, enemies, antagonists, etc.) are the forces that can hold you back, keep you stuck and small, and prevent you from achieving your goals. These also include issues such as fears, worries, negative thinking, and depression.

Together, both of these forces create your force field (or “life space”). Whichever force is stronger dictates how much movement, if any, you will make towards your goals. You can diminish one side by strengthening the other, and vice-versa.

To analyze these positive and negative forces influencing your goals, use the Force Field Analysis, created by Kurt Lewin, a German-American social psychologist. This tool is used for decision making in business, social science, etc., and is very helpful in personal development analysis.

The Guides vs. Gremlins Sheet is also helpful in defining your helper and detractor forces in general.

PURPOSE: Your Spiritual Identity—What will be your legacy?

Legacy Star for Teaching

Legacy Star for DanceLegacy Star for Publishing

 

 

 

 

 

Life/soul purpose, or your calling, relates to what you will leave behind—your mission, gift(s), lesson(s), teaching(s), wisdom—your legacy. How do your passions show up in the world? What do you create? One way of answering these questions is by creating your Legacy Stars to see where you shine in the world. Legacy Stars are connected to your passions—knowledge, values, and skills—and personality. What you know a lot about/love learning about, what is very important to you/must be present in your life, and what you do well/love doing directly relate to your purpose. Your personality helps determine your strengths (and weaknesses) that you will use in your life’s work. To create your Legacy Stars, use the following guide:

  1. First, create the stars:
  • The Center: The theme—the topic of your work or hobby
  • The Points: The specifics—roles, types, settings, etc.
  • The Size: The level of passion connected with the theme—the bigger the star, the stronger the passion

Be creative with your stars. Make them as simple/basic or elaborate/stylish as you want. Use whatever required number of points, and add any embellishments that would be helpful (circles or “fringe” at the tips for subcategories, surrounding circles/halos/shadows or flames for further definitions, etc.).

  2.  Then, determine their placement:

  • How do they relate? How do you place them (connecting, overlapping, far apart, over, under, etc.) based on their relationship?
  • What constellation do they form?
  • What is its meaning?

Your Physical Identity—What are you good at, and what do you love doing?

RIASEC Holland Hexagon DiagramTwo ways of defining your strengths are looking at what you do well and what you love doing. If you love doing something, chances are you are or will become fairly proficient at it. So, there is usually a connection between both factors.

Use the Skills Sheet and Skills Table to define your best skills. Use the SWOT analysis to define not only your best skills (strengths), but also your weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to get a fuller picture of what’s possible for you at the current time.

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Next, use Holland Codes to see how these skills can be used in the workplace.

Psychologist John Holland believed “the choice of a vocation is an expression of personality”. His “Holland Codes”—six groupings of types of work skills—are used by the U.S. Department of Labor for classifying jobs. All people usually have some interest in all the areas, but just the top two or three are used in occupational guidance.

The model used to demonstrate the Holland Codes is a hexagon. The areas next to each other are more closely related.

The six groupings are as follows:

▪     Realistic—practical, physical, hands-on, tool-oriented

▪     Investigative—analytical, intellectual, scientific, explorative

▪     Artistic—creative, original, independent, chaotic

▪     Social—cooperative, supporting, helping, healing/nurturing

▪     Enterprising—competitive, leading, persuading

▪     Conventional—detail-oriented, organizing, clerical

How do your strengths fit into the hexagon? Are they in the same category/categories, similar/touching categories, or on opposite sides of the hexagon?

Your Emotional Identity—What is really important to you, and how does that relate to your environment?

AQAL ModelTwo ways to look at your emotional identity are from the individual perspective—your personal values, and from the collective perspective—your cultural and societal values. Values help define your identity through what you feel. Core personal values are the things you can’t live without. These are the most important things in your life that must be present for you to be happy. The cultural values of your family and societal values of the area you live in also play a role in your identity.

What are your core values, and how are they influenced by your environment and the culture you live in? Nature vs. Nurture. Self vs. Society. What influences you more—your innate personality, desires, and motivations, or society’s expectations? In which areas of your life are your personal values strongest, and in which areas are your cultural and societal values strongest?

To define your core values, use the Core Values Sheet, and group them based on topic, if desired. To explore your cultural/societal values, see the Spiral Dynamics Introduction to learn about Spiral Dynamics and find out where you may fall on the spiral.

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Integral theory is a philosophy, developed by Ken Wilber, of classifying everything in life and showing how things are interconnected—“the theory of everything”. When used in combination with the Spiral Dynamics framework, you can see how individual and collective values interrelate by comparing what spiral they are on.

Integral theory breaks down everything into four quadrants: I, It, We, and Its.

  • “I”, the upper-left quadrant, relates to the internal individual: your personal identity and core values.
  • “It”, the upper-right quadrant, relates to the external individual: your body and how you connect with it.
  • “We”, the lower-left quadrant, relates to the internal collective: family identity and cultural values.
  • “Its”, the lower-right quadrant, relates to the external collective: societal and national values.

So, even though personal, cultural, and societal values are in different quadrants, they may be on the same spiral, and therefore show up similarly in different areas of life.

How do your core/personal values relate to your culture’s and society’s values? Is there overlap? Are they on the same spiral? Are some almost opposites?

Your Mental Identity—How do you learn, and how do you use this knowledge?

Two ways of defining your mental identity are how you take in information (your learning style) and what you do with the knowledge you’ve acquired (your type of intelligence).

Acquiring Information:  Learning Styles

Illustration of three learning stylesOne of the most common and widely used learning styles models is Neil Fleming’s VAK (and later VARK—R=Read/Write) model. Fleming, a teacher in New Zealand, created this model (updating the VAK model in 1987) to explain why different people learn differently.

Below are the three learning styles widely accepted by psychologists and their frequency and characteristics.

Visual Learners

  • 60–65% of the population.
  • Learn best by seeing information presented in pictures, charts, graphics, illustrations, or diagrams.
  • Remember details in picture form.
  • Are able to create strong visualizations of sizes, shapes, textures, and depth in their minds.
  • Pay close attention to the body language and facial expressions of others.
  • Have a keen awareness of the aesthetics of the physical environment.
  • Read or watch TV to relax.
  • Remember people’s faces better than their names.
  • Need an organized space to concentrate.
  • Solve problems by writing out possible solutions.

Auditory Learners

  • 30% of the population.
  • Learn best by hearing information and memorizing sounds.
  • Have strong language skills including a well-developed vocabulary, appreciation for words, and talent for foreign languages.
  • Are interesting and articulate conversationalists.
  • Are musically talented:  can hear tones, rhythms, and individual notes.
  • Are easily distracted by noises.
  • Listen to music or the radio to relax.
  • Remember people’s names better than their faces.
  • Learn new ideas from audio tapes.
  • Solve problems by talking through possible solutions.

Kinesthetic Learners

  • 5–10% of the population.
  • Learn best by moving their bodies and through physical interaction.
  • Are hands-on learners.
  • Wiggle, tap feet, or move legs when sitting.
  • Were often labeled “hyperactive” as children.
  • Are good at working with tools and their hands.
  • Play sports or do physical activity to relax.
  • Remember people by recalling things they did with them.
  • Are distracted by moving people when concentrating.
  • Learn about a new idea by going to a seminar.
  • Solve problems through hands-on experience.

Applying Information:  Types of Intelligence

Illustration of eight intelligences

Howard Gardner, an American developmental psychologist and Harvard University professor, originally conceptualized his theory on multiple intelligences as a way to merge art with psychology, not as a means of determining learning styles in an educational setting, which is how this theory is frequently used today. His book Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences, explains that there is not just one type of intelligence, but many. He defines intelligence as “…the human ability to solve problems or to make something that is valued in one or more cultures.”

Gardner initially identified seven different kinds of intelligence, but has since identified two others for a total of nine. Below is a summary of these various intelligences.

Verbal/Linguistic Intelligence: Word Smart
Ability to express yourself through language.

  • Think in words.
  • Are sensitive to the meaning, sounds, rhythm, and order of words.
  • Have highly developed auditory skills.
  • Play with sound in language.
  • Enjoy storytelling, creative writing, poetry, jokes, humor, puzzles, riddles, and reading.
  • Love seeing, saying, and hearing words.

Mathematical/Logical Intelligence: Number Smart
Ability to understand the underlying principles of systems and discern logical or numerical patterns.

  • Think conceptually.
  • Are skilled in reasoning, logic, problem solving, mathematics, and other complex logical systems.
  • Explore patterns, categories, and relationships.
  • Question and wonder about natural events.
  • Enjoy number games, problem solving, pattern games, and experimenting.
  • Have strong reasoning skills and ask questions in a logical manner.
  • Like order and step-by-step directions.

Spatial/Visual Intelligence: Picture Smart
Ability to perceive and present the visual world accurately and recreate or alter it in the mind.

  • Think in images and pictures.
  • Produce clear visual images in their mind.
  • Know the location of everything.
  • Enjoy creating visual patterns and need visual stimulation.
  • Are daydreamers.

Body/Kinesthetic Intelligence: Body Smart
Ability to use one’s body and handle objects in a skilled way, for self-expression or towards a goal.

  • Process knowledge through bodily sensation.
  • Have excellent motor skills and coordination.
  • Have gut feelings about things.
  • Need to move around (often labeled as hyperactive).
  • Are athletic and active.
  • Enjoy creative dramatics, role-playing, dancing, and expressing themselves through movement and body actions.
  • Learn through physical movement and from touching and feeling.
  • Use movement, gestures, and physical expression to learn and solve problems.
  • May touch when talking.

Musical/Rhythmic Intelligence: Music Smart
Ability to understand, appreciate, and create music; ability to hear, recognize, and manipulate patterns.

  • Think in sounds, rhythms, and patterns.
  • Sing, hum, and whistle to themselves.
  • Immediately respond to music.
  • Perform and appreciate music.
  • Are sensitive to environmental sounds: crickets, bells, alarms, ambient music, etc.
  • Have strong opinions on music.
  • Enjoy playing instruments, singing songs, drumming.
  • Like the sounds of the human voice, environmental sounds, and instrumental sounds.
  • Learn easier if things are set to music or to a beat.

Interpersonal/Social Intelligence: People Smart
Ability to understand other people—their moods, desires, and motivations.

  • Think and process by relating, cooperating, and communicating with others.
  • Are natural leaders.
  • Sense feelings and intentions of others; are intuitive.
  • Understand people; mediate conflicts.
  • Are skilled at organizing, coordinating, and manipulating people.
  • Are street smart.
  • Have many friends.
  • Are very social.
  • Enjoy being part of a group.
  • Can help peers work cooperatively with others.

Intrapersonal/Individualistic Intelligence: Self Smart
Ability to understanding one’s self, emotions, feelings, strengths, weaknesses, identity, and purpose.

  • Are skilled in inner focusing.
  • Have a deep awareness of inner feelings, dreams, and ideas.
  • Are reflective, analytical, self-motivated, and individualistic.
  • Prefer individual/solitary activities to group/team activities.
  • Recognize self strengths and weaknesses.
  • Require private space and time.
  • Like to work independently.
  • Understand their own feelings, motivations, and moods.

Naturalist/Environmental Intelligence: Nature Smart
Ability to recognize and classify plants, minerals, animals, and cultural artifacts; knowledge of relationships in nature.

  • Sensitive to nature.
  • Understand environmental systems.

Existential/Spiritual Intelligence: Spirit Smart
Ability to pose and ponder questions about the meaning of life and the structure of the universe and consciousness and to understand philosophical and theological issues.

  • Are curious about the universe, consciousness, and the meaning of life.
  • Seek connection/communion with a higher power.

Check out these online tests to find your learning style and type of intelligence:

Spiral Dynamics: Identity Through Values

Spiral illustration with each level labeledSpiral Dynamics (SD) is a system of understanding societal values (or vMemes) based on Psychology professor Clare Graves’ work from the 1970’s and furthered by Don Beck. More recently, it has been combined with the work of Ken Wilber and Integral philosophy to further understand humanity. SD focuses on sets of hierarchical values and needs that must be met before progressing to the next level. Although there has been controversy around the hierarchical nature of these values definitions, SD gives a good outline of the various values, focus, and consequently identity of different people at different stages in their lives.

For more information:

SpiralDynamicsOverview

SpiralNurturing

Where do you see yourself in the spiral?