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How to Combine Those Planetary Energies

Written in 1940, The Combination of Stellar Influences became an important touchstone for astrologers who were developing their skills in chart interpretation. Providing clear and succinct summaries of how the energies combine and manifest in our lives, Reinhold Ebertin expressed an understanding that would influence the brilliant astrologers, including Robert Hand and Richard Tarnas, who wrote about planetary combinations in the years that followed.

According to Ebertin, when the Sun and Moon aspect each other in our chart, we strive to relate to others much as we learned from our parents' relationship. Understanding their dynamic, what to emphasize and what to avoid, is our key to building successful relationships with spouses, partners, and friends.

How do the Sun and Mercury connect in your chart? Ebertin likes the potential the planets in aspect offer for having a good head on one's shoulders, especially when it comes to business. A propensity towards nervousness is increased, however, and one must guard against being all work and no play.

Venus and the Sun are moving closer together and will conjoin on January 8, 2022. Ebertin promises us good times for interacting with others and bringing artistic endeavors to a new level. However, overindulgence can also land us in a world of hurt. We need to choose our pleasures judiciously.

Ebertin warns us in "The Combination of Stellar Influences" that the combination of the Sun and Mars can lead to great achievements - but it can also indicate someone who puts too much pressure on themselves. Knowing our capabilities and limits is a must when working with this energy.

While Ebertin indicates Sun-Jupiter aspects in the chart may promise great success in life, he advises the native to guard against a tendency towards arrogance. Understand and work within the laws of the realm rather than becoming a law unto oneself.

Ebertin writes in his book on planetary combinations that Saturn can sit rather heavily on one's Sun. The vitality may be affected, the impulse is towards the solitary path, and one struggles with self-esteem. These challenges, however, give one the modesty and patience to persist within personal limitations and eventually live a useful and highly valued life.

According to Ebertin, the Sun and Uranus connected by aspect in our charts may indicate an identity which thrives on change, seeking progress and reform. Life can take turns which are wonderful or upsetting, yet the vibrancy of experience is valued as an impetus to evolve.

Ebertin tells us that the Sun and Neptune in aspect to each other indicates an identity which channels realms other than the here and now. We are more open to spiritual enlightenment but are more vulnerable to exploitation and confusion. Our empathy is a great gift to the world, but the world can become too much for us. Finding space to connect with the higher realms fills our being with the armor we need to live in a fallen world.

Ebertin tells us that those with Sun-Pluto aspects crave power and can use this energy to attain leadership positions - or it can lead to defeat and even martyrdom. Aligning one's drive for power with clear and well-examined objectives is key to working with a Sun-Pluto aspect.

The Moon and Venus in aspect bring together how we feel and what we love in life. We are therefore very happy when things are to our liking and an absolute bear when they are not. Finding something beautiful or worthwhile in every circumstance is crucial, then, to finding the balance we need to negotiate our days with gracefulness and equanimity.

Our emotions bubble up from the depths when we have a Moon-Mars aspect, and our actions are off and running. While Ebertin warns us of quarrelsomeness or less than domestic felicity with this planetary combination, he also promises an ability to act from the heart and a purposeful drive that cannot be stopped.

Ebertin writes that when the Moon and Jupiter connect in our charts, our emotions may be rooted in a great benevolence towards all we meet and will carry us towards popularity and worldly success. On the flip side, we may struggle as our sense of justice and the way things should be experiences constant revolt against the way things actually are in the world. Using our big picture skills to understand that every individual kind act and thought contributes to the Greater Good helps to keep our Moon and our Jupiter functioning together in harmony.

While the Moon and Saturn in aspect make uneasy bedfellows, Ebertin tells us that a responsibility towards those we love carries us through what can sometimes be emotional deserts. Feelings of melancholy or inferiority can be balanced by the value we derive from assessing one's duty towards ourselves and others. This aspect promises the self-control we need to execute what is required admirably.

Ebertin tells us that when the Moon and Uranus are in aspect, our emotions can be electric and unpredictable, and we will ourselves to lead a dramatic and remarkable life. We can suffer from the strain, however, and need to rely the energy of this planetary pair to download the instructions we need from the Universe to live life successfully on our terms.

When we experience the Moon and Neptune in aspect, Ebertin writes that our heightened sensitivity brings us into alignment with others' thoughts and feelings. It is important to distinguish when our empathy is helpful and when we are being manipulated or misled. Turn away from escape hatches into unconsciousness; tap into the unconscious for enlightenment.

Pluto was discovered only ten years before The Combination of Stellar Influences was written, so much was yet to be learned about its energies. However, Ebertin does point to the extremes of deep emotion with the Moon-Pluto aspect, which can lead one to the single-minded pursuit of a desired outcome, or the tendency to stew in one’s own juices of jealousy or paranoia.

When Mercury and Venus connect in our charts, Ebertin promises lighthearted living and artistic promise - or at the very least, the ability to use one's hands to create something beautiful. While this lovely pairing does not cause us to light the world on fire, it does help us to enhance our daily lives, and to form pleasing relationships with others.

Boy, when these energies connect in our charts, we have the smarts and the fuel to win arguments - but also the tendency to find ourselves in more verbal jousts than we care to count. Ebertin sees the light and fire we need to achieve success when Mercury and Mars work together in our charts, if we can avoid the trap of negativity and meaningless disputes.

So, having Jupiter and Mercury working together in our charts can be a bit of a mixed bag, Ebertin reports. Jupiter expands Mercury’s intellect and oratorical skills, but Trickster Mercury may syphon off Jupiter’s powers for nefarious purposes. Keeping our breadth of vision wide and inquiring while fact-checking our words and ideas is the balance we need to put this very active pair of energies to good use in our lives.

Ebertin gives those with a Mercury-Saturn aspect the assurance that they have the mental capacity to live their lives well. Their tenacity and willingness to roll up their sleeves to get a job done is exemplary. However, the price for such brain power can be a mistrust of those around them and a need for absolute bedrock proof before any idea is considered. If you construct mental walls around yourself as you move through the world, be sure those wall s exist to create structure, and not to obscure meaning.

Uranus yoked with Mercury can indicate someone who thinks not just outside the box, but in dimensions where boxes do not exist. Ebertin writes that this combination is found in scientists and engineers and in other brainy types who move the world forward with their ideas and inventions. Giving this brain power focus and a mission is important, however. All the downloads being processed at once can overload the circuits and cause one to fritter away mental energies while revving up their nervous system. Follow your bliss, but just one bliss at a time.

When we have Mercury and Neptune in aspect, Ebertin tells us, we need to use our power to tap into the unconscious, to draw divine inspiration, to empathize and connect with others for good. With a morally bankrupt agenda, these energies can create notorious liars and those who practice to deceive. Keeping our antennae tuned to the messages of Spirit and acting as its channel is the best use of this union of mind and the greater intelligence of the Universe.

When we have connections between Pluto and Mercury in our charts, Ebertin reminds us that we do not miss much. This enhances our powers to observe not just the surface of things, but the underlying causes and motivations. And it sharpens our critical faculties while expanding the reach of our pen and voice. Pushing too hard, however, can lead to mental collapse, or using our powers to exploit can bring downfall. Success comes with we harness our superpowers of observation and communication to our own deeply held and examined beliefs.

Ebertin does not shy away from describing the importance of sexuality and sensuality in the lives of those with Venus-Mars aspects. We want what we want, suffer from poor impulse control, and can create wreckage out of relationships. Using the energy of Mars, however, to drive Venus’s love of connection with others, saves us when we see what is beautiful in each human being and we strive to live in harmony. No one can be happier than a Venus-Mars native once enjoyment of the good things in life is relished as a blessing.

While nothing too bad can come from Venus and Jupiter connecting in our charts, Ebertin does warn that we could put our pleasure first and waste the gifts and advantages blessing us. The popularity promised by these combined energies is best used when we understand that happiness is contagious. Bringing others into a space that is warm, accepting, fun-filled and joyous helps those whose life experiences have left them doubting that life is good. Teaching others to always look on the bright side of life is the mission of those whose benefics work and play well together.

The energies of Venus, designed to make us happy in the world and with each other, can find their best and worst expression when paired with Saturn. Ebertin writes of the faithfulness and devotion found with this pairing, but also of the difficulties with expressing emotions, enjoying oneself, or establishing healthy relationships. Knowing that pleasure is permissible and should be encouraged as long as one is performing one’s duty otherwise helps unite such dissimilar energies. And forming long-term love relationships based on mutual respect and support enhances one’s life with indescribable joy.

We love the roller coaster aspect of love when Venus and Uranus decide to mix it up. Ebertin emphasizes the excitement of the love experience, but also the independence we seek, even when in a couple. We are not drawn towards typical partners and do not always express our feelings (which are intense) through traditional channels. But for artists, this combination of energies indicates originality, the spark of creativity, and a willingness to express what is authentically our own spirit. Enjoying the zest of life’s pleasures, relationships and creativity while maintaining open communications about our need to roam free bring us the very best outcomes for this combination of energies.

We may kiss quite a few frogs when we encounter Venus Neptune aspects. Ebertin tells us that infatuation followed by a wakening to reality is not an uncommon path with these placements, and we can live in a perpetual state of uncertainly around relationships. We have virtually no sales resistance and can be manipulated by those who know how to exploit our dreams. But we do dream, we do have visions, we can sense a spiritual dimension beyond the earthly bounds. Looking to this inner inspiration rather than to a savior or a prince to forge our path is key to working with these energies. Sharing the beauty we behold around us will also use the highest vibrations of this planetary combination.

Ebertin zeroes in on the compulsion one often experiences in affairs of the heart when Pluto and Venus meet in a chart. Again, because Pluto had only been discovered ten years before Ebertin wrote his book, he sketches in the ideas astrologers had at the time. That the sex urge would be strong and the need to create – or procreate – was intense about summed up his description. Later astrologers like Renn Butler would write about the transformative powers of love relationships, and of the need to grasp and maintain power and control.

Mars and Jupiter, when they are on the same page, make a great team. The action and energy of Mars is boosted by Jupiter’s far-sighted vision and moral centeredness. Ebertin promises success in meeting goals, realizing ambitions, and living a full and happy life when these energies combine in our charts. When the planets don’t unite around a common goal or interest, however, the conflicting energies create a rebel without a cause, someone who goes off half-cocked without considering the consequences, a discontent. Knowing one’s core principles and then connecting them to ambitions - then connecting those ambitions to the actions one needs to take - is key to making Mars and Jupiter serve as our best allies.

Ebertin does not give us much to hang our hats on here. Mars and Saturn together form a difficult energy – Mars moves quickly, impulsively, passionately, while Saturn proceeds at a slow, deliberate and coldly calculated pace. They frustrate each other and cause those of us trying to express these conflicting energies to vacillate between passivity and aggression, turning anger inwardly and then outwardly. But when Mars and Saturn share a mission, a job, a challenge, and take on the task using all their best qualities, they are unstoppable. With these energies, we can overcome an addiction, complete a task which has defeated everyone else, or move any mountains which should stand in our way.

Willful is the keyword for anyone with Mars-Uranus aspects. We will not be told what to do and will resent it like hell when we are bossed around. Be we have the courage and the insight to carve out our own path, and we will fight for others to enjoy the same freedom. We are good in emergencies and find life trying when things are too calm. Finding work and experiences that test our capabilities, and taking the opportunity to reinvent ourselves every seven years or so exercises these energies and give life the zest we crave.

Mars and Neptune combined in our charts can be self-defeating, Ebertin warns, leading to entropy, abuse of energies, and seeking addiction as an escape from discontent. But all planetary combinations can work well for us, if we are aware of their powers. Using the spiritual visioning and questing of Neptune to inform our actions gives our life the purpose and meaning we crave.

When the energies of Mars and Pluto combine in our charts, Ebertin writes of extreme effort and ambition, but also of ruthlessness and even brutality. We need to be aware that our drive to achieve what we want can blind us to everyone else around us. It’s also important to delve into the motivations at the root of our desires and bring them into the light of consciousness before we act. This aspect also promises great courage in the face of brutality and want.

Jupiter and Saturn working together in our charts is almost always a productive force, Ebertin tells us. With Jupiter we can envision and seek what is good, and with Saturn, we can plan and execute. Patiently working towards long-term goals, sacrificing immediate gratification for a greater reward in the future, and never losing sight of the objectives we hold to better our lives and the lives of others are the wonderful manifestations of these aspects. When Jupiter and Saturn clash, however, discontent with the status quo can form, with a resulting bitterness and lack of self-confidence. Even those of us with the most challenging Jupiter-Saturn aspects, however, benefit by never losing sight of Jupiter’s optimism and Saturn’s willingness to put in the work required for a better day tomorrow.

Having Jupiter and Uranus combine in our charts can be pure delight. We are open to new experiences, stimulated by change and growth, and tapped into our visions for a better life and world. Ebertin does warn of one-sidedness with this combination of energies and an inclination to indulge in arguments for argument’s sake. Keeping that vision open and being willing to entertain other perspectives than one’s own is the golden ticket to living with these electric and dynamic energies.

Jupiter and Neptune coming together is an aspect the whole world will experience in April of 2022. Ebertin writes of the magic and spiritual grace and artistry of this combination of energies, but also of its deceptions. We can love big and give generously of our gifts to humanity when Jupiter-Neptune aspects form in our charts. But we can also fall prey to wishful thinking and even the flim-flam man. Or we could even become a deluder or seducer. Keeping the spiritual channels open in our hearts to receive true inspiration, creative imagination, and compassionate impulses leads us embody the best of this planetary combination.

Jupiter gives Pluto a boost when the planets combine, promising organizational and leadership skills. As always, Jupiter could expand the dark nature of Pluto, leading one to exploit large numbers of people for one’s own need to manipulate and control. We best use these energies by staying grounded in one’s own principles and honestly evaluating one’s actions by their impact on others.

Those of us who have Saturn and Uranus meeting in our charts carry a great deal of inner toughness. We are built to grow through crisis, and barriers only exist to strengthen our resolve and fuel our efforts. But we have to pick our battles. We can experience limitation and a failure to thrive if we are constantly fighting every structure in our lives. Knowing where we can best use our energies to enact real change – and letting go of the rest – supports and enhances the rebel forces with us.

The spiritual connectedness one can experience with Neptune can manifest in compassionate action when it meets Saturn by aspect. Ebertin writes, however, that with this planetary combination, we can struggle with prioritizing our material desires over our spiritual needs. Finding the balance between our dreams of a better world and the realities we deal with everyday helps us to make the most of the planetary combination.


aving lived through 2020, we can understand the impact of a Saturn-Pluto conjunction. Ebertin describes the coldness and severity of these combined energies, but he also lauds the ability to endure the most difficult times promised by a Saturn and Pluto aspect. We function best during these times when we use the power of this planetary combination to strengthen our efforts and resolve.

Opportunities for spiritual enlightenment are boundless when Uranus and Neptune connect. While the union of these energies can lead us into confusion and misinformation, we also have the opportunity to channel some vastly true and meaningful downloads from the Universe if we keep our pathways open and our intentions pure.

As we are all looking forward to the release of the series “The Changing of the Gods,” the Uranus-Pluto planetary pair takes on particular interest. Based on Richard Tarnas’s landmark book on planetary cycles, “Cosmos and Psyche,” this series traces manifestation of Uranus and Pluto aspects in our history and in our world today. Great changes being born from difficult times are promised by the long conjunctions, squares and oppositions of Uranus and Pluto. When these aspects occur in our own charts, we carry the power of a revolutionary.

Those of us born since early in the 20th Century through those born in the 2040’s have the sextile of Neptune and Pluto in our charts. While we can express the confusion and suffer the delusions suggested by this planetary pairing, the potential for healing is huge. Tapping into the life force to rejuvenate and make whole our souls has been the life work of many therapists and healers, holy men and women, artists, and reformers over the past one hundred years. We all carry this power to heal within ourselves.

Finally, I cannot leave this wonderful book without sharing with you an additional treasure trove from Reinhold Ebertin. Do you have planets which fall at the midpoint of any other planetary pair? Ebertin lists each planet and how it manifests at the midpoint of every planetary pair found in this book. Having poured through The Combination of Stellar Influences now for many weeks, I can understand what an important stepping stone Reinhold Ebertin created for those astrologers who followed him and carried the influence of his work into the 21st Century.


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