My interest in astrology really blossomed last January, right around the time when transiting Uranus met up with my natal Mercury in my 9th house…
That last sentence might sound like gibberish to you, but I’m okay with that. If you’re interested, stay with me and I promise I’ll explain.
I’m not an astrologer, but I am a total astrology nerd! I’m obsessed. I’ve found astrology to be an amazing tool for self-understanding and self-acceptance, and I’m excited to share my passion and some of the things I’ve learned with you.
Whenever I become interested in a new subject, I get curious about how the concepts I’m learning intersect with things I’ve explored in the past. My mind loves drawing analogies and finding connections between disparate ideas.
As I’ve become more interested in signs, stars and planets, I’ve naturally found myself wondering: where in astrology is multipotentiality? Does this discipline have something to say about the tendency to want to do/be/explore all the things?
I believe that astrology does recognize multipods. In fact, astrology itself is all about exploring the complexities and contradictions in our personalities and experiences. It’s inherently multifaceted!
Let’s rewind. What is astrology, actually?
When most people think “astrology” they think about personality traits that are based on when you were born. So, if you were born in early January, you’re said to be a Capricorn. If you were both in late May, you’re considered a Gemini, etc. There are twelve signs, and each is supposed to have particular personality traits. But this is a very modern and simplified form of an ancient area of study.
Known as Sun sign or pop astrology, this pared-down astrology is based on the position of the Sun on the day you were born. It zeros in on the grouping of stars that is behind the Sun at that time of year, and that constellation is said to represent you. You may have noticed before that your sign is also the name of an astronomical constellation. This is why!
If you’re a Puttylike reader, you’re probably already finding this problematic. We are not just one “type,” and our personality isn’t the same as the 8.3% of humanity that shares our Sun sign! Humans are more complicated than that.
Sun sign astrology – while a great basis for absolutely delightful memes – tells only a fraction of the story of who we are. Other schools of astrology take into account not just where the Sun was at the moment of your birth, but where ALL of the planets were (and what constellations were behind them). For most people, the nine planets and the Moon are likely to have been in various signs when they were born. According to astrology, each planet says something about your personality and/or the types of experiences you’re likely to have over the course of your life. Some would argue that you have to take all of that together to get a true picture. You can’t just look at the Sun.
If you go to a site like astro.com or Chani Nicholas’ website (my favourite), you can look up your birth chart. This will show you where all of the planets were at the moment you came into this world. You’ll be able to see what signs the Moon, Mercury, Venus, etc. were in. Chani has some interpretive tools on her site, too, if you want to figure out what they all mean. To access all this info, you’ll need the date, time, and location of your birth.
Astrology, as a study and practice, goes back to ancient Mesopotamia. It has a long history, spanning civilizations and continents, with many astrological traditions developing in different regions. Today, multiple forms of astrology are practiced around the world. They can be pretty different from one another, but they all typically look at the position of the planets in the sky, the constellations those planets are moving through, and the geometric angles between the planets.
While I’m sure that some people who present themselves as astrologers treat horoscope writing as nothing more than a form of creative writing, real astrologers base their horoscopes on the position and movements of the planets in the sky. They’ve studied astrology, usually for years!
So, back to my original question. Where in astrology – and more specifically, where in our birth charts – might we find our puttylike nature? Are there some celestial “multipotentialite signatures”?
1. The four double-bodied / mutable signs
People often think of Gemini as the pluralistic sign of the zodiac. And it’s true that Gemini energy does describe certain multipotentialites to a T! This is from an article in Allure:
“Have you ever been so busy that you wished you could clone yourself just to get everything done? That’s the Gemini experience in a nutshell. Appropriately symbolized by the celestial twins, this air sign was interested in so many pursuits that it had to double itself. [ . . . ] Playful and intellectually curious, Gemini is constantly juggling a variety of passions, hobbies, careers, and friend groups.”
That definitely sounds like some of my favourite people with many passions! It’s also the stereotypical image of the multipotentialite. While there’s nothing wrong with embodying that classical Gemini personality, many multipods don’t. Some of us have fewer projects on the go at any given time, or we’re more sequential in nature. We might even go deep and explore a single field for years before switching to something new.
Gemini isn’t the only zodiacal sign that’s about plurality. Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces are also said to be mutable or “double-bodied”. You may know Gemini as “the twins.” Pisces is represented by two fish, Sag. is depicted as half human/half horse, and Virgo is “the maiden” and their bird. These signs are all associated with multiplicity and adaptability. If you have any planets in Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius or Pisces, then you’ve definitely got some multifaceted energy in your life!
2. Multipotentialite planets
Each sign of the zodiac has a ruling planet. In traditional astrology, each of the double-bodied signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces) is ruled by either Mercury or Jupiter.
That’s fascinating to me, because the planets Mercury and Jupiter both have serious multipotentialite connotations. In fact, it is those planetary significations that give the four double-bodied signs their multiplicitous nature. Let’s take a look at each planet and what it stands for in astrology.
The planet Mercury is named after a Greek god, Hermes. Hermes is the messenger: fast and, notably, frequently changing directions. (They are always depicted wearing some sweet winged sandals!) If you’ve ever heard people complaining about Mercury being retrograde, that means that, seen from Earth, the planet has changed directions and appears to be moving backwards through the sky. It happens three or four times a year – Mercury switches it up in this way more than any other planet.
In astrology, Mercury is associated with communication, versatility, curiosity and intelligence. It’s sometimes said to have a clever or trickster quality to it. Basically, Mercury is an adaptable little being, who changes direction frequently and represents the multipotentialite well.
If your Ascendant (aka rising sign) is in Gemini or Virgo, that means Mercury is your ruling planet (it’s mine!) and you probably embody some of these Mercurial qualities (I do!).
Even if Mercury isn’t your ruling planet, everyone has Mercury in their chart. Mercury was somewhere in the sky when you were born, after all. When you pull up your birth chart, take a look at where Mercury is. Whatever sign it’s in will say something about the sort of energy you bring to your communication style and your intellectual pursuits.
Jupiter is all about exploration, expansion, abundance, growth, freedom and wandering. In Greek mythology, Jupiter represents the god Zeus. This means folks with a lot of planets in Pisces and Sagittarius (both of which are ruled by Jupiter) sometimes have a “larger than life” quality to them. These folk typically embody their multipotentiality by inspiring others and sharing ideas they’re excited about.
There is a particularly jupitarian urge for exploration and boundlessness that feels very multipotentialite to me. If you happen to be a Sagittarius or Pisces rising, then Jupiter is your ruling planet. That means you likely embody some of these traits.
As with Mercury, everyone has the planet Jupiter in their chart. So check out what sign Jupiter is in. The energy of that sign will tell you something about how you create abundance in your life.
3. The 9th house
Ok, I’m going a little deep into nerd territory here. To examine a birth chart, most astrologers split the space surrounding earth into slices known as houses. There are twelve houses, and they’re different for each person, based on the time and location of their birth. Each house is said to represent certain aspects of one’s life. For example, the 1st house relates to physical body and personality, the 2nd house to experiences with money, and the 3rd house to siblings and neighbours, etc. We get information from the houses by looking at what planets were located in each house in the time and place someone was born.
The more planets you have in a particular house, the more important the topics of that house will be in your life. So, if you have a bunch of planets in the 7th house of committed partnerships, then you might be someone for whom romantic relationships or long-term business or creative partnerships are extra important.
The 9th house is one of my favourites. It signifies a bunch of topics like philosophy, law, long-distance travel, religion, publishing and higher education. It’s a house that’s all about your worldview and coming into contact with foreign things: new ideas, people with different backgrounds, faraway places, etc.
I associate the 9th house with multipotentiality because multipods love learning. Many of us consider ourselves to be life-long learners, even if our learning doesn’t always take place in formal settings. We’re constantly picking up new skills, exploring our curiosities, and learning about new cultures. Our tendencies to explore different facets of ourselves also brings us into new settings, trying on different ways of being.
If you have planets in the 9th, I would say that’s a pretty strong multipotentialite indicator. However, even if your 9th house is “empty,” you can take a look at the traditional ruling planet of your 9th house, and see where that planet is in your chart. Here’s a cheat sheet to help you find the ruler of your 9th house.
Don’t worry – it’s a really big sky!
If you don’t have a strong mutable, mercurial, jupitarian or 9th house emphasis in your birth chart, that’s okay. One thing I love about astrology is that it stretches and morphs. Because it’s really a way of helping us think about our patterns and attributes, we can start anywhere and gain a lot of insight.
This article covers just a few multipotentialite indicators that I’ve spotted while learning about astrology. I’m certain there are others! Like maybe all things Aries (it’s the cardinal fire sign, so Aries looooves starting projects) or having Mercury in the 3rd house (which could be interpreted as you having a lot of variety in your daily routines). Even just having planets in signs that are very different from one another could indicate someone whose personality contains multitudes and surprises.
Ultimately, you get to decide if you’re a multipotentialite – not your birth chart. So keep exploring! Thanks for taking this voyage with me.
Do you see your multipotentialite nature in your birth chart? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!