I have coined the term “SD scale” to give students a way of thinking about comparing degree symbols. The SD stands for similarities and differences. In the two degrees I spoke of in Part I, we looked at the similarities between the two degrees – the fact that both had a rare animal in a hidden environment. We didn’t really look at the differences – but here’s one: one of these animals, the giant squid, is in WATER, and the other, the albino snake, is in the EARTH. And so it is the degree of her Moon that lives in the cave, or earth element – an element which is slow, gradual, enduring, dense. This is how her emotions are – slow to change, enduring, building up gradually, maybe sometimes heavy, and as in a cave the earth is all around one, maybe there is a feeling of being oppressed by the earth realm.
On the other hand, the giant squid, which is her Sun, lives in the realm of emotion. Emotions are what is most important (Sun) to her, they are what vitalizes (Sun) her, and her emotions, like the giant squid – by the way, tentacles of it have been found measuring 70 feet long – are grandiose, gigantic, awesome.
So when you see initially a lot of similarity between two degrees, go with that, but if you want to go deeper, look as well into how they are different – and, of course if what you first recognize is their difference, then try to also be more aware of their similarity.
What do you do when you are comparing two degrees and you find that they don’t seem to have any marked similarities or differences? The answer is, look deeper, because usually if you do you will eventually see both similarities and differences. And even if you never see this, you can simply tune in to both degrees and when you feel your intuition has contacted their essence (which is always a relative thing in terms of more or less) you can them blend the meanings together in your interpretation.
Please think of the degrees as colors on a palate with which you are painting a picture, for just like with painting, there is no formula to follow if you are being true to your own creativity, and not just cranking out a clone of some other picture.
There has been a great number of times I have read a degree symbol and drawn a blank. When this happens I will then usually to refer to a book which interprets symbols and see what it says about the one in question. Doing this can help to get your intuition going, but if you use it as a crutch and always go with just what it says in a book you will be doing yourself and the person you’re reading for a disservice.
I have found that when interpreting degrees in a classroom setting the results can vary greatly. I’ve seen times when students feel like they’re psychically attuned to each other and so when they interpret a particular symbol together each person enhances and deepens the others insight into the degree. I have also been in classes where students seemed to be in disharmony and when they went together to interpret a particular degree we got a lot of different and conflicting ideas that, if they were music, would have sounded screechy and discordant. Because of this I’m somewhat loath to do group interpretations – It’s kind of like doing a group psychic reading, which, although it conceivably can work can also manifest as a confusing jumble.
And so, will degree interpretations always be effective? Will they always give us the insight we’re looking for? Of course not! To say that they would is like saying that everything paint goes onto a canvas a masterpiece will be created. Degree symbol interpretations are just as iffy as inspiration and art. But, as almost every artist will tell you, the more you create and watch what the results are, the more you learn and the better you get at creating. The exact same thing can be said about using degree symbols to interpret a chart.
It will take a very long time to have experienced all 360 degree symbols if you are just using them in chart interpretation, but there is another highly effective way to get more familiar with the degrees, and that is to use them just like you would Tarot cards. Think of a question you would like answered – one that isn’t capable of being answered by a simple “yes” or “no,” and then through any method you want, pick at random a degree symbol to answer than question. Every morning when you get up you may also ask the question, “what is the nature of the primary energy I’m experiencing today?” or “what would be good for me to focus on today?” and then select a random degree. Over time this will familiarize you more and more with the degrees, and enhance your ability to see how they are working in charts.