If you're just starting your astrological studies,learning to read a chart can be a daunting task. I mean there are all kinds of moving parts to consider when looking into a soul file let alone figuring out what steps to attack first in your personal practice. As a practicing astrologer of over 10 years now, I can't say I know everything about astrology (and I probably never will) but I did want to share an exercise that helped me understand the interpretation of planetary placements. I've since shared this exercise with my students and from the feedback I have recieved and the results I have seen this exercise is not only unique but also effective in helping you gain a deeper understanding of planetary placements.
But first, what is a planetary placements? A planetary placement is simply a planets position in a sign or house,or both depending on whether or not you're looking at a natal chart. For example Venus in Taurus is a planetary placement,as is Venus in Taurus in the 3rd house in a natal chart. For the sake of this post we will keep it strictly planet to sign relationships. The exercise is simple but creative. Choose any planet,spend some time understanding that planet's significations, then make the planet into its own base character. You can draw them if you'd like or you can think of a tv or book character,or even a person you know that has a lot of the same attributes or energy as the planet that you are trying to interpret 's signification. Sure you could think of the Greek or Roman gods when you do this exercise, I'm not knocking that,however the point of this exercise is for you to create your own personal understanding,interpretation and relationship with the planet by breathing life into it. It can be hard to interpret something that appears so abstract. When you go about creating this character,ask yourself these questions,what would they look like?how would they talk? What would their home look like? Do they have any unique mannerisms? What are their likes and dislikes? Really get into it! By doing this you are creating your own deep and personal understanding of the planet that you can relate to understand better than what books can tell you. If you really think about it,when you read astrological books all your doing is reading the authors interpretation of the planet,but their interpretation may not fit or be as clear to you as it is to them. After you are done making your base planetary character,this is where the fun begins! You can begin to dress them in different "costumes". These costumes would be the signs that they inhabit and change some of their features. For instance, when I picture Venus, I picture a statuesque woman with a bubbly personality,pink is obviously her color,she loves to make sure she is well put together,she cares about aethetics,she's confident but not cocky,she has an endless amount of admirers, acquaintances, and friends,she's sweet and isn't super concerned about punctuality because she loves to indulge in the moment. However when I put this character in Gemini, she is still very much this character but she's more chatty,think Cher from Clueless . Smart,but might skip over some important points of planning,bubbly still but is a bit more scattered when it comes to relationships and is highly social. Venus in Gemini is going to give this Cher-like character a spark of mischief in her eye but socializing,a love and openness to learning and flirtation and some of this character/placements hallmarks just to name a few. However if we put the base character of Venus in Leo her costume changes and she is now more of an Elizabeth Taylor kind of character (in my mind) romantic,a bit over the top,charismatic, a touch of darkness,with a whole lot of boss bitch energy. While on this topic of Venus, I'd like to share my own reflections from when I first did this exercise. Up until this exercise I'd looked at Venus as a planet that was all about love essentially, but as I learned more about Venus. Venus isn't just romantic love and beauty, she is also money, value,self esteem, beauty,security and our comforts....and do you know how this made me view Venus? I no longer see Venus as just the planet of love, Venus (in my mind) embodies the energy of a strip club. Gorgeous women,good food(I'm not sure if this is a thing for every strip club, but most have amazing food😅) money is being thrown around everywhere and it's a place where people come together. Venus isn't love,she's a strip club to me lol and I say that with the utmost respect. That was my personal understanding of one planet through this exercise and I'm hoping that this can help you reading this on your own astro journey as well!