The Life Approach is my term for how the four Planetary Departments, (the Sun/Moon Department of Vitality, the Venus/Mars department of Efficiency, the Jupiter/Saturn Department of Motivation, and the Uranus /Neptune Department of Significance) interrelate with each other. There are sixteen different possibilities in this, and here they are, together with their interpretations:
1. In a very few charts you will find that there is no major aspect between any of these four pairs of planets. This is a rare occurrence because first of all, more than half of all charts will have a Sun/Moon major aspect simply because we are giving the Sun such a large orb (17 degrees). Then, even if we have no Sun/Moon opposition, there also has to be in the chart to oppositions between the other three pairs of planets.
When you find this situation in a chart, you know that the person you are reading for is a wide open individual – capable of being influenced by anything and everything. At worst this can mean its difficult for the person to consistently and/or steadily apply him/herself to anything, because all the time there will be new energies coming into their field, which the person has difficult ignoring. If the individual can, through an act of will, create enough order in his/her life to keep chaos somewhat at bay, they are then more likely to find happiness and fulfillment.
On the positive side, when a person has none of the four Planetary Departments activated the openness this creates can help the person to be very innovative, and to engage in adventures that many other people would have had to pass up, because they were busy being consistent about whatever structures they had created in their life.
2. At the opposite extreme you may occasionally find a situation where a person has all four pairs of planetary departments activated by major aspect. This person will feel pulled in many different directions and have a desire to get involved in a lot of different things. Their dilemma is really very similar to having none of the planetary departments activated, but in their case rather than the OPENNESS that was created by no aspects now becomes a FULNESS, most likely an OVER-FULLNESS – a feeling of a kind of glut, together with a difficulty of choosing where they are going to focus. This person needs to edit out certain involvements so that they will have time and energy enough to cultivate other involvements.
In instance #1 spoken about above we symbolically have a person who plants a garden but then can’t weed it because they find the weeds as interesting as whatever else they’ve planted. In this instance – the one we’re talking about – #2 – the person is planting a garden that has way to many things in it – there’s no room for weeds, but there’s also no room for anything to grow properly, because THERE’S MORE VARIETIES OF LIFE FORMS THAN THERE IS SOIL. This person needs to do some deep soul searching to determine what it is they really want to do, and then, difficult as it seems, they need to JUST SAY NO to involvements that they know are not as important to them as the ones they’ve chosen. The problem with doing this is that even if they do what I have suggested, then later they may be very tempted to change their mind or re-decide their priorities, and if they do this too much, they’re back to the same challenge.
3. More often you’ll have a situation where only one of the planetary departments is activated, and this will clearly show where the person’s focus is. If the one planetary department activated by major aspect is the Department of Vitality (Sun/Moon), the individual is very into the basics in life, very grounded, may even have a kind of earthy or primitive quality, and will tend to have a lot of energy. This person is good at establishing themself in life in a practical way. They would hardly ever get lost in the clouds.
4. If the single planetary department with a major aspect is the Department of Efficiency (Venus/Mars) the person has a tremendous capacity to get things done. This is the situation in my chart. People are always telling me I’m very accomplishment oriented. Yes, I see that, but it just seems like a natural thing – when I want something, or want to get something done, I just make a b-line for it, and that is that! The down side of this is that I don’t really have much of a long range sense of what I’m doing – its just the task at hand that I’m getting done.
5. If the single planetary department with a major aspect is the Department of Motivation (Jupiter/Saturn) the person is extremely good at keeping before him/herself WHY he or she is doing what their doing. They tend to stand up unequivocally for what they believe. Their actions tend not to be random, but for a reason and purpose. The individuals with this setup in their chart are very good at not getting involved in meaningless activity, or in anything that doesn’t suit their purpose. They automatically save their energy for their goals and purposes, for what they feel is right and good to do.
6. If the single planetary department with a major aspect is the Department of Significance (Uranus/Neptune). These people focus on the welfare of their fellow human beings and the welfare of the world at large, and tend to commit every action as a means toward the general betterment of everything.
7. There can also be the situation where three of the planetary departments are activated by major aspect, with the fourth department unactivated. When this is the case, it is the unactivated department that becomes the focus of the life. And so if there is a major aspect between Venus and Mars (the Department of Efficiency), as well as Jupiter and Saturn (the department of Motivation), and also Uranus and Neptune (the Department of Significance), but NO ASPECT BETWEEN SUN AND MOON (the Department of Vitality), then we can see that the person needs to be like #3 above, and if they can bring these qualities into their life they will have found the missing piece that will lead them to success and fulfillment.
8. The same procedure that we used to interpret the missing Sun/Moon aspect in #7 we can use to interpret the situation when all planetary departments are being activated except for the Department of Efficiency (Venus/Mars),
9. As well as when the Department of Motivation has no major aspect (with the other three having major aspects), and
10. The Department of Significance having the same situation.
And those are the first 10 potential interrelationships of the four Planetary Departments.
The following interpretations cover the instances where two out of the four planetary departments are activated by major aspect, with the other two not having a major aspect between their two planets. You will find one of these six possibilities present in about 40% of the charts that you do.
11. Sun/Moon (Vitality) and Jupiter/Saturn (Motivation) both activated by major aspect: The individual with this combination tends to take a personal approach to the circumstances of life. That means, essentially, that no matter what he involved him/herself in, the tendency is to take whatever happens personally.
We hear people say so often, “You shouldn’t take that personally!” in an attempt to try to help the person they are speaking to. Actually taking things personally can be a positive thing. It can signify a teacher who gets to know his/her students individually, and who will try to work with each and every circumstance of life that comes up as a unique scenario that requires unique responses. In other words, “personal” here may translate as “personable.”
Queen Elizabeth II has this situation in her chart, and her great popularity over the years is because she seems like a real person to the people – she approaches her job personably.
On the darker side, Hermann Goering also had this setup in his chart – another very personable leader, who, in fact, as Marc Jones says, “encouraged millions of the German people to think of him affectionately as “The Man.”
12. Venus/Mars (Efficiency) and Uranus/Neptune (Significance) both activated by major aspect: This person takes an impersonal approach to circumstances. They might, sometimes, seem cold, distant, or aloof, but this mindset might aid them in focusing on what they are doing, and help to insulate them against negative criticism, censure, or any kind of chaos or static that might disrupt someone else, who, if involved in the same circumstances did not have this setup in their chart.
13. Sun/Moon (Vitality) activated with Venus/Mars (Efficiency): This person tends to focus on their function in life, and to do so objectively. This can mean that self-fulfillment for them will require at least some amount of self-discipline. This person tends to play a definite role in life. They figure out what this role requires, and then try to fulfill those requirements.
14. Jupiter/Saturn (Motivation) activated with Uranus/Neptune (Significance): These people, like #13 above are also playing a role in life, but with this combination the functioning is subjective, that is, rather than focusing on what is needed from them by the outside world they look within to see what it is they have to give to the world, and then their role and functioning is based on this. These people need to allow their role in life to come forth from themselves.
Both numbers 13 and 14 are like actors playing roles on the stage of life, with number 13 playing their role more methodically and consciously, and number 14 merging with the character they have conceived and playing more by instinct. Both of these types can be uncompromising and self-obsessed. Remember, though, this is not necessarily a bad thing.
15. Sun/Moon (Vitality) activated with Uranus/Neptune (Significance): This person focus on ACTIVITY – on what they are DOING, and does so in a conjunctive way, meaning they are not apt to let anything get in their way as the proceed with their agendas, and refuse to allow their actions to be thwarted by trivialities. They are willing to try anything and everything to see if it will suit their purposes, and are always trying to connect what they are doing with what others are doing and to what is going on around them.
This person is intent on working with the structures they find already in place in the world around them. They are trying to be a part of things.
16. Jupiter/Saturn (Motivation) activated with Venus/Mars (Efficiency): This person also focuses on ACTIVITY, but unlike #15 does so in a disjunctive way. They want to sample many different things because they are trying to get a feel for all the various energies around them so they can assess how they might be used. They tend to take different sorts of energies from many different areas of life and then to put those energies together in their own individual way. They love to experiment, and the ultimate purpose of their experiments is self-discovery.
This person, rather than working with the structures they find already in place in the world around them are intent on creating their own customized structures for themselves.