Recently, I did a natal chart reading for a male client who had five planets in Taurus. I went back through my hundreds of files, and I could find only one other with five planets in the same sign and a couple with five in the same house. When I spoke to this man, I emphasized how rare it is to have so many planets so close together at birth. A few months later he contacted me and asked that I prepare a chart and reading for his only sibling, his sister. When I saw her chart I was surprised to see five planets in Libra. Then I regained my “nothing surprises me in astrology” mindset and realized this was just a unique family pattern.
I see family patterns regularly, and they all are unique. Although the above example was a sample of only two natal charts which could be easily explained by coincidence, I am fortunate to have 11 siblings and 16 nieces and nephews whose charts I could use for a three-generation family pattern study. Thus, I undertook the analysis of these 29 birth charts of my parents and the two generations of their descendants. I tallied the primary triad signs: Sun, Moon and Ascendants since these are universally considered by astrologers to be the most important determinants of temperament.
At first glance of the charts there were a few patterns that stood out immediately with a preponderance of four signs that appeared in Ascendant, Sun and Moon positions: Aquarius, Scorpio, Cancer and Leo. I could see that none of these charts boasted five planets in a single house or sign. Clearly that type of stellium would not be a defining pattern in my family tree. However a quick analysis of the Sun, Moon and rising signs revealed results that would be difficult to ascribe to random coincidence.
In the natal charts of my eleven siblings and myself there is not one earth Sun sign. Since there are three earth signs out a total of twelve, one should expect to see an average of about a quarter of the charts boasting earth signs in any large sample. Admittedly, twelve is not a large sample, but this anomaly remains significant. This one statistic taken by itself could indeed be attributed to chance, however when I looked at the twelve rising signs in these charts, again there was not a single Earth rising sign among them.
This brought to mind a comment my Dad would make from time to time about how other men in his circle had children who were accountants, dentists and even plumbers: all very practical occupations and some quite affluent. Yet, he had spawned a tribe of “gypsies” who were an assortment of “musicians, writers, artists, political organizers and an astrologer.” Indeed the dearth of earth was very apparent in the vocations and lifestyles his progeny chose.
My Dad was a writer in his youth and very involved in community work and volunteering later in life. The Moon is his only Earth planet in a strong fire chart boasting the Sun in Aries and Leo rising. My mother is a Sun in Sagittarius, Libra rising with the Moon in Gemini. Her chart ruler falls in Earth along with Jupiter in the sign of Capricorn. Thus, both parents have what most astrologers would consider a good dose of Earth (one has a Moon- the other the ruler in Earth) though it is not the dominant element by any means. As a couple they managed to raise twelve of us and provide a stable home where my mother lives today at the age of ninety. This may not have been the case if both parents’ charts were completely lacking in Earth.
Next, I tallied the Moon signs by element. Here I found three Earth sign Moons, a number more like one would expect in a random universe. Even with this sudden appearance of Earth, this finding also reinforced the theory of family patterns since my Dad had the Moon in Taurus. Neither parent had an Earth Sun or Ascendant and none of their children had either of these two Earth features. But one parent had an Earth Moon, and that pattern repeated in his children.
The Fire and Air sign legacy in their children’s charts was a logical pattern based on my parents charts, but where all that Scorpio and Cancer came from is still a mystery: five siblings have these signs rising, four have these Moon signs and three have these Sun signs. Regrettably, I do not have birth times for my grandparents to see if that is where I might see a past history of Cancer and Scorpio.
Next, I analyzed the third generation of the 16 grandchildren. Again, I tallied the Ascendants, Sun and Moon signs to see if the Earth element would repeat it’s statistically weak representation in this generation or perhaps there would be a new pattern or no pattern at all in these three metrics. The results are very similar and for brevity I will summarize:
Again there are few (only two) earth sun signs, and few (three) earth rising signs , but five Earth moons. This trend seems to suggest that the dearth of earth is lessening, but the predominance of Fire and Air is still obvious. And the Moon signs again are where Earth is showing up with the greatest frequency.
The most interesting finding of this analysis is that of my nieces and nephews who have Earth signs in their primary triad, all are the progeny of one of my only two siblings who have their ruling planets in Earth and/or their other parent has a strong Earth chart. It should be expected that the astrological patterns of both their parents would have influence lessening the influence from my own biological family.