There is a duality inherent in astrology. Good and Bad. Or as
we astrologers like to say, benefic and malefic. Astrology twitter recently had
a field day and grand debate over whether it is appropriate to use the terms
benefic and malefic in modern astrology. Of course the traditionalist love using
the term. The astrologers who follow evolutionary astrology schools, modern
psychology astrology schools, and new age schools, do not like using the term
The split between the two comes from the traditional
astrologers, whether they are from the medieval schools, Greek schools, Arabic schools
or other offshoots tend to view life as oscillating between experiences of good
and bad, and this is expressed in the astrology chart as fate, karma, or
destiny, which is to a good degree predetermined. Buddhist philosophy as well
as traditional Abrahamic religious philosophies would agree, albeit for
The newer way of thinking is more akin to the “secret” which
is our minds create our realities moment to moment, so if we can change our minds,
we can change our destiny. Thus “malefic” is self-defeating, as it creates a negative
spin and reinforces its results.
looking at the virtue of the stars is to look at the planets as having virtues and vices. The virtues help propel us to easier experiences as beings. The vices create more extreme experiences that are harder to feel relaxed contentment from practicing.
It is not to deny they have aspects of informing us of the impact they may have in dramatic ways in our lives, such as predicting marriages, accidents, financial situations etc. Rather, it is understanding that astrology is a tool to develop into better humans, and furthermore, by doing so, we will improve our lives.
A planetary example
Saturn has the virtue of integrity, reliability, and spiritual
solitude. It has the vice of deception, depression, sloth and miserliness.
Jupiter has the virtue Faith, joy, abundance, and
generosity. It has the vice of exaggeration, pride, and gluttony.
Mars has the virtue of Energy, self-sacrifice, and heroic
dedication. It has the vice of wrath, anger, violence, and aggression.
Venus has the virtue of nurturing, love, compassion, and
enjoyment. It has the vice of lust, debauchery, gluttony, and excess.
Mercury has the virtue of intelligence, wit, and
communication. It has the vice deception, shallow mind, and mental confusion.
The Moon has the virtue of nurturing, caring, and
supporting. It has the vice of emotional self-absorption, unsteadiness in action,
and wasting time.
The Sun has the virtue of warmth, vigor, and integrity. It
has the vice of self centeredness, ego fixation, and pride.
Time to study
This list is not exhaustive or comprehensive. A good exercise for those studying astrology as well as trying to deepen the understanding of their own charts and psychology is to look at where these planets fall in your chart and how they express their own vices and virtues as part of your experience. Like wise it is good to see how life experiences arise for you based on their expression and your own relationship to it.