The Astrology Lab

An innovative approach to the study of astrology


How I Approach Astrology: Fagan/Bradley Sidereal and Draconic Analysis

Here’s my story:

When I first began learning about astrology online, I looked up information regarding my tropical birth chart. Normal right? The tropical approach seems to be the unquestioned norm in the United States, so I naturally found out that I was Cancer Sun, Aries Moon, Virgo Rising, Leo South Node, etc.

Looking back though, I absolutely hated the fact that I was a Cancer. I disliked the majority of my Cancer-like traits. In fact, much of my insecurity exists around those traits.

After learning all the basics of Western Tropical Astrology, I started exploring areas that are less well known out of curiosity. After all, I am a very curious gal! I checked out EVERYTHING Astrodienst had to offer: Draconic charts, heliocentric, different versions of sidereal astrology and more. I examined all of these charts from a natal and comparative perspective while constantly researching to find out what other people had to say on these subjects. I’d compare their observations with my own, pursuing mostly what I found to overlap.

As I’ve said before, I’m a pretty open-minded person. My priority is finding truth.  Sometimes that truth exists outside the norm, and in the case of astrology, I’ve found this to be the likely case– so far in my studies. Maybe one day I’ll find out something huge that proves otherwise. Maybe one day, I’ll somehow find out that astrology is a load of baloney! But right now, from all the premises I’ve collected from research, I am pro-astrology, and pro-Fagan/Bradley Sidereal all the way.

Now, where in the WORLD do I began to justify this?? Because yes, I have a justification. It’s just really long and complicated and buried in the vast abyss of my mercury/anti-vertex conjunct south node mind. Yes, I just went there.

This is going to be a mixture of subjective and objective. Ultimately, I am explaining why I favor F/B Sidereal over Tropical, not why you should too. This can be interpreted as an invitation to do your own research though. Here we go:

1. I identify more with my Fagan/Bradley Sidereal traits than Tropical. Now, when I say “identify with,” it’s actually quite complicated because several of the same signs appear in both my F/B chart and my Tropical chart. It’s just that different planets are in these signs. In my F/B chart, my mercury-south node conjunction is in Cancer. This makes SO MUCH SENSE to me when observing my behavior in classroom settings and in general. My most insecure place—the south node—the place where I know I need to grow. It just makes sense to me. Bullet-proof sense, at least in comparison to the Tropical Chart where my Sun is in Cancer, and Mercury-South Node is in Leo. I am not a leo intellectually, and again…aren’t you supposed to like your sun sign?

2. Draconic to Natal comparisons In Synastry. Draconic charts have proven themselves valuable to me in synastric analysis, hands-down. But that’s an entirely different blog post. In draconic to F/B natal comparisons with my loved ones or significant people in my life, tight conjunctions or oppositions are common. Much more common than draconic to tropical contacts, I’ve found. I have also endlessly analyzed synastry between couples, whether married or dating, and found synastry between draconic and F/B sidereal charts to be exceptionally revealing and helpful in understanding relationship dynamics.

3. Observation of the Aries Point. This is an ongoing process. How many people will you run into with a planet or point on the Aries Point? I’ve met people with planets right on (less than 1 degree–the tighter the orb, the better) the Fagan/Bradley Sidereal Aries Point—Moon, Venus, Mercury, Sun: The qualities of the planet on the Aries Point seem to consistently dominant the person’s lasting impressions. For example, one of my roommates in college dated someone with Venus right on the F/B Aries Point natally. In her perspective, this guy was so agreeable, perhaps too agreeable, and she was constantly trying to dig deeper beyond his niceness and adherence to social expectation. It’s a consistent phenomenon. I’m still trying to understand how/if this applies to all cardinal points (0 degrees Cancer, Capricorn, Libra) and solstice points (15 degrees Leo, Aquarius, Taurus, Scorpio) or just 0 degrees Aries.

4. Cyril Fagan and Donald Bradley’s Research and THEIR Reasoning. Check out the link below.

5. Getting to Know the Signs in Relationships. At a certain point as an astrologer, you come to understand and pick up on traits of certain signs…especially if they appear in your chart. For example, I have had THREE serious relationships with a common synastric aspect: F/B Sidereal Sun conjunct Moon in Gemini—where I’m the Sun (Orb <4 degrees). With a strong re-occurring pattern like this, I’ve come to understand the dynamics and behavioral themes of this kind of relationship. I know the sign of Gemini, especially in a Sun-Moon synastric context; it’s difficult to explain. It’s definitely not a Cancer Sun-Moon conjunction, that’s for sure: There tends to be a lot of playfulness, goofiness, tickling, etc. Very Gemini-like qualities.

6. Observing Dominant Signs in Progressions (1 day for a year). It’s interesting to observe personality shifts as individuals’ F/B Sidereal planets progress into other signs, especially if one sign is dominant in the progression. I know an individual who is natally very strong in Aquarius, Capricorn and Pisces. Within the past 5 years his Sun, Moon, Jupiter and Ascendant have progressed into the sign of Aries…and I can definitely tell! I also know an individual who is natally strong in the signs of Aries and Pisces. She, within the past 6 years has progressed so that her Sun, Moon, Jupiter, and Ascendant are in Gemini. It’s fascinating to watch. (These people are VERY close to me.)

7. Timing of Progressions. I underwent an extreme personality, appearance and career shift during my freshman and sophomore year in college. Before this time, I was always the goofy one in my circle of friends making everyone else laugh. I was also a Piano Performance major, planning to make a career out of performance and teaching.  In October/November of my freshman year, I decided to dye my hair black and get my nose pierced. Over Christmas break, I noticed that I was becoming a bit more introverted and serious than previously. I wasn’t really happy about this. I ended up removing my piercing and letting my hair fade to its natural color over the summer. During my sophomore year of college I started running and paying more attention to my health: I’ve been running ever since. I also decided that I did not want to teach piano or perform for a living, and considered changing my major to creative/professional writing, international relations, sociology, political science and more before eventually settling on being a sociology undergrad right before the summer. Over the summer, I decided to learn/teach myself astrology and look into world religions and philosophies out of curiosity.

Now, guess what happened. My [F/B Sidereal] Ascendant progressed from Leo to Virgo and my Midheaven progressed from Taurus to Gemini about a year afterwards. WHAT? Before I switched to F/B, I was so confused about this huge shift in my life. But now, the puzzle pieces fall perfectly into place timing-wise. Perfectly.

I think that’s all the justification I can squeeze out for today. Fun stuff, right? I figured this would be a good place to start on my journey of blogging.  Thanks for reading!


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