The Fifteen Most Important Points in a Horoscope Delineation or How to Proceed After Getting an Overview of the Chart¹ – Point 1.


The fifteen-point method of interpretation is dependable when we have an exact birth hour. Every sign of a horoscope, must give its own clear testimony if there is any truth to astrology at all. Otherwise one thing would depend upon another, and that upon another, and so on, without end.

Jean Léopold Nicolas Frédéric, Baron Cuvier, once remarked: “Show me a bone and I will identify the animal.” I used to laugh at that statement until I took a class in comparative anatomy. The professor greeted me with a grudging cordiality; “What are you, a philosophy major, doing over here on the science side?”

“Well,” I said, “philosophers have to talk about science sometimes and I want to know what I am talking about.” He turned to address the group of us, all but myself on the way to become doctors.

“You’ll have to work hard if you want to get A’s here,” he remarked, and then explained how we could get in the laboratory at night and on Sundays, as well as in working hours.

He said: “Why don’t you hurry through the bones, which will be of little use to you, and put in the extra time on the brain of the shark, ahead of the class?” I followed his suggestion, the net result of which was that I was the first one that year to take the bone examination. This was given individually.

We sat down before the bone box, with the idea I recognize anything he handed me. He began with the longest bone I ever saw. “If it wasn’t so big,” I said, “I’d identify it as the femur of a bird . . .. I suppose it’s a crazy kind of a hybrid.”

He laughed: “Why don’t you stick to your guns? Did you ever hear of an ostrich?”

Astrology duplicates this preposition every day. If you have skill enough, you can take any fragment of a chart and read the life from it. It is far more wonderful than Sherlock Holmes. We used to try our hands at it, taking a torn quarter of a chart, and finding how much we could gather from just that. It all comes down to a question of technique.

Everyone must train himself, in some and orderly fashion, to recognize the full significance of every detail. There are only two efficient ways to read the details in a chart. One is to work from the houses, and the other from the planets. You can also work from the signs but that is neither easy nor sure a method. Beginners always take the houses, and go around the chart completely, bringing out everything about personality first, then money, and so on.

A more effective method is to take the planets in order because then you are reading more dynamically. The heavens create the houses at the exact time of birth. If you read just from the houses, you are distributing your horizon, which is a static thing.  The houses then are a distribution of your horizon, but it is still a static proposition.

The planets thought are the dynamic bodies that distribute the forces of actual living and experience, setting up the strains and stresses of life and creating the basic complex in which you have your existence.  They articulate the forces of the universe and represent your distribution of this energy.

By working from the planets outward, you create a key to an individual’s livingness. To show this I will use the chart of President Theodore Roosevelt whom George MacCormack, a founder of the Guild, got the data rather directly from the Roosevelt family, and has done a lot of work upon it, so we can be rather sure of the data.


                                                                         Point # 1.

I begin with Mars because it has most to do with simple activity. Mars is the planet closest to the earth.  It represents the place in life where you throw off energy, fly off the handle and move the hardest to get things done.

Mars is in the first house in Teddy Roosevelt’s chart, therefore it calls for unusual energy, which certainly describes the native. Now let’s get a technique down for this proposition of reading from the planets. First look at each planet by what sign they are in, then by house and finally symbolic degree.

The justification for a use of these symbolical degrees is that they work. Here is something that baffles people. I remember the story in the Bible of the boy who was cured of blindness. The learned people came to him and said it was impossible. It just didn’t happen. The “medical books” said it couldn’t be done that way. This, of course, is my own version of the story! The young man in the Bible narrative, who was a simple sort of fellow, remarked: “What you say is very interesting. You are learned gentlemen. I am convinced you are very clever and know much more than I do. However, all I know is that once I was blind, and now I see.”

And so, like that boy, we won’t go into a discussion of the symbolical degrees, but content ourselves with the fact that they are something that works.

Mars is in Capricorn, or in the sign of critical discrimination. With my Mercury in Scorpio, I will be giving you many nicknames tonight, and I would suggest that you make your own when mine do not click. I have made them for myself to save time and effort and I find them a great help. To me Capricorn is the sign of “critical discrimination,” well illustrated by Teddy’s campaign against the “nature fakers.”

Mars is also in the house of personality, on a degree that is symbolized rather curiously as a degree of splendor. The Sabian degree that is Capricorn 18 reads:

“From the proud new warship of Britannia, a token of her maritime power, flies the Union Jack in calm dignity. “

T.R. made the United States a first-class power, and he did it with the Navy. The symbol puts the case forward exactly. But what is  the idea of a warship? A warship represents compact strength. A warship is a weapon for combat not defense. It has dignity and is often representative of the country that builds and floats it and so too this man, with his personality and critical discrimination —  the ability to distinguish two or more things from each other —  was a man who, in everything he did, said: “We have to find a way to make this stand out, & make this dignified.”

howtolearn_x100It was no different for himself.  He went out West and became a cowboy, and a good one. Not the kind they have on dude ranches – pretty boys that prance around and do nothing, but a real working cowboy who roped and broke horses.  When he was a sickly, scrawny youngster with squinty eyes, he was determined to be well, and he made himself over in the image of male virility and health by becoming a real “rough rider.” All this is shown by this first house and the sign and the degree of Mars.

 Thus, you have the first salient point in a horoscope:  Mars.


  1. This is taken from a Marc Jones’s talk for the Guild in 1942.  You can read all 15 points here. Marc’s talk
  2. You can download TR’s horoscope here in Placidius format.TR
  3. You can read it online at
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