Feature Article


What's in the Stars for You and Your Horse?
By Catherine Bird

The other week I was offered a racehorse whose owners had instructed the trainer to send him off to the dogmeat factory. He came from a line I admire and he had the gentlest of natures, so I asked Kim Devries to see how compatible we were in our astrology charts. By the end of the day someone else had claimed this horse, but what I learnt from Kim was invaluable for the next time I consider owning a horse.

Kim is an astrologer who started using astrology to understand Jamie, a horse she had been given when she began riding as an adult. Jamie was an older horse and it was always a battle with him to see who was boss. Once Kim realized the planetary aspects that were at odds with each other she had the tools to overcome their difficulties and form a relationship where both she and Jamie saw the best of each other develop within.

Kim then applied this knowledge to other horses she rode, and later applied it when it came to selecting her next horse after she retired Jamie. As Jamie had been a fiery character and one that had tested Kim's fortitude many times, she decided she would seek out the gentler qualities of a Libran horse. She researched breeds and decided a Holsteiner would offer her the physical attributes she needed for dressage and some eventing.

When Kim found horses she thought were suitable she asked for their birth data and began analyzing their aspects. If there proved to be too many challenges, she didn't pursue the purchase of that horse.

Kim found that the tools with which astrology provided her helped to define her choices. When asked if this was a reliable way to choose a horse, however, she placed a great emphasis on the rider and owner choosing their horse through intuition. No matter how much the stars pointed to a horse being the best or worst combination for the both of you, you still had to trust when your heart spoke louder than logic.

This happened with Kim and her purchase of Time. Time fitted Kim's physical requirements and the owners faxed her Time's birth details as listed in her breed registration papers. Kim thought she had found the horse that fitted the paradigm she had drawn up as 'perfect for her'. So she drove to the country and assessed Time. She didn't respond the way Kim had expected and was more reserved in her manner than Kim had presumed from her study of her natal chart. Kim decided that it must have been mainly due to the ascendant, as you cannot gauge that if you do not have the exact time of birth. Her heart told her Time was to be her new horse, and she had her vet-checked, and when she passed was shipped to Sydney.

When Time arrived, so did her breeding papers, which listed her date birth differently. The Holsteiner register had misread Time's original papers. Kim learned that she had a very different horse from what she presumed she had bought. However, she believes that sometimes these things are just meant to be, so from this point she used her astrology skills to determine how she could best overcome Time's problems and how best to deal with the challenges Time offered each day.

Kim suggests looking for a horse whose date of birth is a month to six weeks either side of your own. The angles this sets up are most harmonious and least confronting, especially when it comes to purchasing your first horse.

When looking at a horse to purchase, Kim looks at the planet's aspects. What she does is take the potential owner's planets and note where they were in the sky when the owner was born. Then she takes the horse's planets and compares them to see what angles they make to the owner. She further takes a look at what planets of the horse fall into which of the owner's houses to give a better understanding. (Astrological houses are the twelve main arenas of your life.)

Harmonious aspects are those that complement each other such as trines and sextiles. Conjunctions can be harmonious or challenging. Oppositions and squares create the most challenges. Kim explained the way we view these often depends on our perceptions; we can see a square or opposition as a difficulty or we can see it as something both the rider and horse can grow from.

So what would have happened if I had become owner of the racehorse?

Well luckily, on a first glance at our synastry grid, we had a lot of harmonious trines and sextiles.

My Moon trined this horse's Sun, and this showed I would have been nurturing to this horse. Emotionally, I was very much in tune with this horse and he would feel and accept my nurturing. Then this horse's Moon and my Mercury were trining, so this horse would have felt I could make sense to him on an emotional level. I would have known how to communicate and make him feel secure.

Jupiter represents good fortune but it can also indicate how well things go on a financial basis. My Jupiter trining this horse's Sun meant he would not have been a financial drain on me. Interestingly, Kim and Time have a square between Jupiter and one of Time's major planets, which can indicate a cost drain or unexpected or much bigger expenses than Kim may have anticipated.

This was a relief; I was concerned about whether or not I could afford to care for this horse.

Now for some of my challenges: Saturn's placement would enhance my feelings of responsibility for this horse and I would have felt I did not have enough time to give. Kim could see the interaction of planets and when I felt bad about not being able to dedicate my complete time to this horse, he could possibly play on this and I would have found this a constant challenge.

The other difficulty Kim saw was my Venus squaring this horse's Mars, which would have meant my finding him hot and explosive. His unpredictable moments would have jangled my nerves and he would have brought up hidden fears. She did emphasise, however, that this would give me an excellent opportunity to grow spiritually. Through my softer placement of Mars I could have taught him to channel his temperamental outbursts and dissipate the confusion between his own Mars and Venus.

Kim then looked at the two charts in a wheel. As we didn't know this horse's time of birth so could not determine his ascendant, we looked at which of my houses his planets rest in.

Most of this horse's planets fell into my eighth house so if I took on having a relationship with this particular horse it would have been an extremely intense relationship. It would have pushed me to the limits and challenged my life in a profound way. I would have loved the intensity and in turn this horse would have been very possessive of me. This possessiveness would go both ways and had I looked at selling this horse later on I would have had trouble letting go of him.

This particular horse's Sun and Mercury fell into my seventh house and as my house of partnerships it would have been a strong partnership. Also both my Mercury and the horse's Mercury were conjunct, so we would have read each other's thinking accurately.

Kim had a giggle, because when she first looked at the synastry chart, the planets gave many indicators of a past life together. But given my line of work, she admitted she could probably look at 100 different horses' charts and say the same thing about them.

Interestingly, this horse's Chiron made a wide conjunction to my sun so this horse's energy would have brought up old wounds in my life to help me heal myself.

Other aspects indicated I would have been very generous and kind while having a healing effect on this horse. The Saturn indicated the skeletal system would need some sort of healing. Kim suspected if I had taken on this particular horse, there would have been a lot of work to be done on his body structure to help him overcome his racing career. One reason for his retirement was he had raced the last two years with a bowed tendon, so getting his body over that would involve this sort of ongoing treatment.

This is a fascinating exercise, though if an owner relied solely on astrology they could miss the intricacies of a horse's personality, especially if they take each aspect literally. However, if used as a guide to understand the interaction between owner and horse, the best and the worst, this is definitely a valuable tool. It may also open up areas owners had not considered discovering, if they are willing to broaden their own perceptions.

The more we understand ourselves and our horses, the more we can overcome challenges and live in harmony with our horses and people in our lives.

Kim's Hints on what your horse's star signs are:

The Aries (March 21 - April 20) is extremely energetic, competitive and decisive. This horse shines when given challenges, as he needs to test himself in competition. The Aries horse also needs physical space to do his own thing each day, as he is a bundle of energy and loves to be busy and active. He needs to run free in a field and challenge himself against other horses by playing dominance games and testing his physical strength. This horse may be prone to bumping or hitting his head.

The Taurus (April 21 - May 21) horse is dependable, placid and affectionate. He wants comfort and routine. This horse loves to be touched and will bond with you very strongly if you brush and massage him regularly. The Taurus horse is food-focused, and needs the reassurance of a predictable feeding routine, loves sleeping and lazing about. He needs to feel secure mentally and emotionally within the partnership, and dislikes changes in routine and may have trouble adjusting to new situations. Patience is the key with this horse; otherwise he may become downright obstinate and refuse to cooperate with you.

The Gemini (May 22 - June 21) horse is naturally a curious, alert and versatile horse that loves learning. This horse loves to communicate and will bond with you very quickly if you take time to learn its body language and play games together on a regular basis. This horse loves companionship and will make friends with animals of other species if it cannot have the company of horses. Occasionally couples choose to share a horse, so the Gemini-sun horse would naturally be at ease with the idea of two human partners. As Gemini rules the chest, it is important that this horse gets as much fresh air as possible.

The Cancer (June 22 - July 22) horse is shy and sensitive. This horse loves his home surroundings and will bond with you steadfastly if you nurture him with firmness, love and gentleness. In return, your Cancer horse will be affectionate and very protective of you. A Cancer horse needs to be given emotional security within the partnership; otherwise he may get defensive and try to get your attention through fearful and clingy behaviour.

The Leo (July 23 - August 23) horse is generous, confident and dignified. This horse loves being the centre of attention and will shine at a show. The Leo horse loves to be noticed and will be loyal to you if you lavish your undivided affection and give fair leadership. It is important to acknowledge all his positive attributes and treat him with respect. Never take this horse for granted; otherwise he may try to gain your attention by being absolutely bombastic. The Leo horse has a naturally courageous spirit, which means that it really enjoys the thrill of competition.

The Virgo (August 24 - September 22) horse is a perceptive and discriminating horse that yearns to be of service to you. This horse not only needs mental stimulation, but also wants to refine his communication skills with you. A Virgo horse is clean and tidy and enjoys being groomed. You need to take special care with your Virgo horse's diet, as this horse has a sensitive constitution and is prone to allergies. This horse is a worrier by nature, and will get highly stressed if he suddenly has a lot of pressure placed on him. Give him plenty of time and reassurance in training. It is important to make sure that he is educated to cope physically, mentally and emotionally, before going into a competitive situation.

The Libra (September 23 - October 22) horse is outgoing, charming and graceful. More than anything, this horse wants to be popular, and will seek to be on good terms with everyone. Your Libra horse will go out of his way to please you and accommodate all your demands, so it is important that you appreciate this, and treat him fairly and justly. Your Libra horse will demand, in the most charming of ways, that you give as much as he does. This horse's aim is to seek balance in whatever he does.

The Scorpio (October 23 - November 22) horse has a dramatic intensity, deep sensitivity and tremendous staying power. This horse generally has a robust and strong build, with keenly penetrating eyes and a magnetic aura. This horse will be deeply loyal to you if you treat him with gentleness, affection and firmness. If you earn his trust and are sensitive to his emotional needs, then he will give his all. If you abuse your power by trying to bully or dominate the Scorpio horse with physical threats and intimidation, this horse will defend himself to the bitter end, regardless of the consequences.

The Sagittarius (November 23 - December20) horse is self-confident, honest, generous and free-spirited. This horse needs physical and mental freedom, so it is important to let your Sagittarius horse out into a large open area as often as possible. If frustrated by confinement, this horse is prone to injury or depression. This horse loves to roam and is a natural escape-artist. The Sagittarius horse has a youthful nature, and never seems to grow up. Variety is the key to training this horse.

The Capricorn (December 21 - January 20) horse is serious, responsible, and patient. He needs the security of living in a well-ordered environment, which has clearly defined rules and regulations. Your Capricorn horse will work tenaciously for you and share your ambitions for success, as long as you clearly define the boundaries of right and wrong when working together. This horse is generally unwilling to take risks on the spur of the moment. He is deliberate and cautious. Even though this horse may seem a little melancholic and pessimistic, he has a sensitive personality. If you show this horse your appreciation through the comfort of a good grooming session and massage, then he will shine for you. When older, this horse relaxes more, enjoys working hard and usually lives to a ripe old age.

The Aquarius (January 21 - February 19) horse is determined and friendly, yet also naturally quirky. This horse is not so much dependent upon its environment for security, as he derives most of his security from being in the company of others. The Aquarius horse will thrive living in a herd, and has the ability to form friendships with everyone. This horse will work tenaciously for you if you find ways of engaging his mind through unusual and unorthodox approaches in training and riding. He is unpredictable, so life is never boring with this horse.

The Pisces (February 20 - March 20) horse is extremely sensitive, impressionable, and a dreamer. This horse is unusually reactive to the atmosphere of his environment, and aggressive behaviour or harsh words will have a shattering effect on his very gentle nature. It is therefore important to accommodate your Pisces horse in a tranquil place, preferably near a large body of water, which will help to protect him from negative energy. For this horse's emotional well-being, he needs to be given the opportunity to escape into his own dream world on a regular basis. To really get the best out of your Pisces horse, you need to find a way to engage his imagination.

Each time I have presented a horse to Kim it has helped me understand what I would learn from the partnership. For owners wondering why they may have come to an impasse, she has been able to give an insight as to where the obstacles may be and how they can be overcome.

First House
Relates to the SELF and how you present to the world. Your personality, appearance, and what titles and roles you hold.

Second House
Relates to what you VALUE in life. Money, financial affairs, possessions, skills, resources and your self worth.

Third House
Relates to how you COMMUNICATE. It bases this on your early school life and interactions with siblings and neighbours.

Fourth House
Relates to your HOME and how you behave there. It gives an indication of family influence and your sense of inner security.

Fifth House
Relates to your CREATIVE expression. It gives an indication of your talents and creative ability, your likely hobbies and leisure activities and a hint of your romantic inclinations.

Sixth House
Relates to your HEALTH. It gives an impression of your daily routines and what coping mechanisms you have in place for stress and where your general health weaknesses may be.

Seventh House
Relates to your approach to RELATIONSHIPS. It gives an indication of how you relate to your significant other as well as what you are likely to attract to you in a partner.

Eighth House
Relates to the TABOOS in life such as sex, death and power. It gives an indication on what is dark and hidden within you as well as your shared resources with others such as money.

Ninth House
Relates to your PHILOSOPHY of life. Your approach to religion and higher education and to what areas of learning you will be drawn.

Tenth House
Relates to your CAREER. It represents your gifts to the world and how you approach work and if you have any issues with authority.

Eleventh House
Relates to your FRIENDSHIPS. This looks at the groups you have around you and what urges you have that aim to make a difference in the world.

Twelfth House
Relates to your SPIRITUALITY. Where you draw on your inner knowing and how you gain support to overcome adversity in life.

About the author:
Catherine Bird is a Sydney-based qualified Aromatherapist, Medical Herbalist and Massage Therapist specializing in treating animals. Her clients have included the NSW Mounted Police, Olympic level competitors, and horses in all disciplines as well as backyard pets. She is the author of Horse Scents, Making Sense with Your Horse Using Aromatherapy, which is one of a series being developed and she offers the Equine Aromatherapy Correspondence Course worldwide. For more information see www.hartingdale.com.au/~happyhorses, and http://communities.msn.com/HealthyHappyHorses, or email Catherine directly at happyhorses@hartingdale.com.au

For more information:
Kim Devries is a Sydney based astrologer and counsellor who works with an array of tools such as Astrology, Numerology, and Tarot to gain insight into human and horse personalities, relationships and life pathways. Her emphasis is on focusing on positive outcomes for all concerned. Kim is available for internet consultations, or in person if you are in Sydney. Visit www.astrologyforyourhorse.net or email kim@euroz.net.