Putting the Whole Chart Together

Once we have learned the basics, Carole Taylor guides us on a step-by-step process for getting the whole picture of a chart. We can follow these steps using the chart of Naomi Judd, who has been much in our thoughts recently after her tragic passing. The first step is to assess the polarity, element and mode balance in the chart. Naomi has the majority of her planets in cardinal signs, which indicate someone who takes the initiative, and in the negative polarity, telling us she is more introverted. In spite of her Ascendant and Midheaven in fire signs, she has little fire among her planetary placements, showing someone who can find it a challenge to assert herself. We then look at where the planets are placed in the chart. While Naomi has a balance of planets above and below the horizon, she has the majority of her planets in the eastern hemisphere, suggesting a focus on self.


Step Two involves identifying the angles of the chart and their rulers. For example, with creative and performative Leo rising, Naomi’s ruling planet is the Sun, suggesting her identity is tied to a life path of responsible leadership and self-sufficiency, especially in the 6th house of areas of life, work and health. Taylor also advises us to look at any planets conjunct the angles because they will color our experience of that angle. Pluto just four degrees away from Naomi’s Ascendant indicates someone very private whose life will go through several metamorphoses, with powerful beginnings and endings.


Understanding the Sun and Moon are the next step. We have seen Naomi’s Sun as the ruler of her Ascendant, but her Moon placement is particularly striking as well. At the top of her chart in the house of career, it explains her appeal to the public, and in the fixed sign of Taurus, it indicates an enduring career. Taurus also rules the throat and so tells us that her fame was won through her beautiful voice.


We then complete our description of the personality by looking at Mercury, Venus, and Mars, the personal planets. Mercury and Venus with her Sun in Capricorn emphasizes Naomi’s sense of responsibility and leadership skills, giving her a goal-oriented mind and an aesthetic which favors the traditional and structured forms of art. With her 6th house being even more emphasized by these placements, we know that she will be a tireless worker – and she will also be preoccupied throughout her life by issues of health. With Mars in Cancer, she will fight to protect those she loves, and Mars placed in the 12th house of sacrifice tells us that she may protect others at the cost of herself.


The social planets, Jupiter and Saturn, reveal how we may experience society around us. Saturn joins Mars in Naomi’s 12th house, suggesting Naomi may have carried the world on her shoulders, deeply feeling the needs of others and sacrificing her own needs to protect others. Jupiter has a happier placement in partnership Libra at Naomi’s IC, suggesting that she may travel the world and then find her way back home, finding in that home all that she needs to be happy – including a partner she vibes with completely.


Taylor guides us to search for any aspect patterns in the chart to give us an overall picture. In Naomi’s chart, a T-square in cardinal signs dominates, drawing in five planets, with Jupiter at the IC being the apex of the pattern. This suggests someone driven, Taylor tells us, and Jupiter is the planet that helps reconcile the dynamic tension between her 6th house Sun and Venus, which seek to shine through service and love, and her 12th house Mars and Saturn, which give everything to help alleviate the pain one feels in this world. That Naomi found a beautiful home in the country with her beloved family close by shows us the power of this Jupiter, and this carried her for many years until she could go on no longer.


Finally, Carole Taylor asks us to consider how the lunar nodes are placed in the chart. With the South Node in Sagittarius in Naomi’s 5th house, we can see her effortless creative gifts, as she drew on the music sung by her family and community and church for generations. The challenge of the North Node in Gemini in Naomi’s 11th house demanded that she carry her gifts to multiple audiences, opening hearts and inviting healing with her songs.