Fortuna in Your Astrological Chart: The Goddess of Fate and Fortune
(Article originally published in The Llewellyn Journal.)
Envy is an emotion that everyone in the human race has experienced at one time or another, and so is jealousy. It is hard not to look at someone who is richer than we are, more beautiful or more successful, and not feel envious. At first blush, some people are born into easy, peaceful or extremely charmed lives, and others have to struggle with one obstacle or another.
Why one person is born into great wealth and another into dire poverty, or one person is born healthy and another handicapped, is hard to say, even when you take karma into consideration. There doesn't seem to be any real rhyme or reason at times as to how the fates dish out good or bad luck, or more aptly, good or bad circumstances.
While it is true that many times we make our own good luck, or good fortune, at other times we don't, and it can appear to us that we are saddled with more than our fair share of obstacles or burdens to overcome, or that we are blindsided by a particularly difficult trial or tribulation to contend with, sometimes out of the blue.
Life can unfold for us in a variety of ways, and can go off into many different directions. It can also change suddenly, and at times our lives can read as a comedy of errors, or as a tragedy in one act; usually we have a little bit of both to deal with. Again, it can be just a matter of chance, or the roll of the dice, why one event occurs in our lives and another one happens to the person next to us.
Fortuna is the Roman goddess of fortune and of fate, and she is asteroid number 19 in the celestial chart given to us by the heavens at our birth. Fortuna represents the wheel of fortune, and June 24 is her special day, called Fors Fortuna.
Fortuna in mythology determined if a person's luck would be good or bad, or a bit of both, since Fortuna is the one who spins the wheel of fortune. Fortuna is the symbol of the old maxim, "what goes around comes around," and she shows us how we can be up one moment and down the next.
Fortuna reminds us that it is never good to feel or think we are down for the count, because when we are at our lowest point, we know that we are ready to move back up again and start our rise to the top. Nature itself exemplifies this theory through the seasons, the cycles and the symbolism of spring, summer, fall, and winter.
Once we locate the placement of Fortuna in our charts, we may have to do a little thinking before we unravel the meaning for ourselves. For some astrological placements, it's relatively easy to understand the meaning of the planets, signs, and aspects in our charts, even on the most basic level.
For example, the Sun in our charts represents our personal identity, the Moon details our emotions, Mercury explains the way our minds work, Venus denotes our love natures, and Mars shows us how our energy and drive manifest themselves, especially in our sexual natures.
Of course, that is an extremely limited synopsis of all the multifaceted astrological meanings of the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, and Mars, and books have been written about what we can learn from the placements of our inner planets, especially once you consider the signs they are in, the houses they fall into and the aspects they make to themselves and to the outer planets, namely Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto.
We also have a rich variety of asteroid placements to help us learn more about ourselves, particularly Chiron, the wounded healer, a very important placement in our astrological discovery of ourselves.
Now we come to Fortuna, another fascinating asteroid placement, and once we know the sign she was in at our birth, the house she falls into and the aspects she makes, we can start understanding her and her place in our charts.
Fortuna reveals to us how we feel and how we respond to the issues she represents for us, as do all our other astrological placements. As stated earlier, Venus in our charts details for us what our love nature is, so we can better understand how we undergo the complicated process of being in love, giving our hearts to someone, and how we experience this multifaceted emotion for ourselves. Our Fortuna placement also show us how we view good luck and fate in general.
For example, if our Fortuna placement is in Aries, Leo, or Sagittarius, all fire signs, we may take a devil-may-care attitude towards fate and luck, and we may have a tendency to risk everything at the gambling tables, not just when we go to a casino, but each and every day in every decision we have to make.
Fortuna in an earth sign, namely Taurus, Virgo, or Capricorn, might mean that we take such a measured approach to our destiny, or that we are so fearful of taking chances, that we end up doing nothing at all when we have to make a decision, or when a choice is presented to us, and end up letting others decide for us, one way or another.
When Fortuna presents herself to us through an air sign, as in Gemini, Libra, or Aquarius, we may take an intellectual approach to our destiny and try to reason out each and every twist and turn in the road we have before us. It might be that we get so caught up in analyzing all the whys and wherefores of what a possible course of action might bring to us, that we get bogged down in the details, and find it impossible to decide what to do.
If our Fortuna placement is in Cancer, Scorpio, or Pisces, all water signs, then our approach to luck and fate may be primarily an emotional one. We may take an extremely intuitive approach to making decisions, and depend on our hunches in all matters, disregarding logic and practicality in any way, shape or form.
Each approach has a certain flaw to it, so learning our Fortuna placement might mean that we need to learn to temper our initial response to fortune and fate. Fire signs may need to risk less, earth signs may need to become a bit more daring, air signs may need to rely on their inner intuitive self more, and water signs may need to use logic along with their sixth sense.
When we use synastry, and compare our charts to those of our associates, it can be a real eye opener to see how our Fortuna placements meet up with the astrological placements of our lovers, family members, and friends.
One couple was pleasantly surprised to discover that one partner's Fortuna was directly conjunct the Venus of the other one. This couple had a history of past unhappy relationships, and often said to each other that their meeting was a real stroke of good fortune for them both since it broke the pattern, and they were very happy together for many years.
Fortuna opposite the Mars of someone with whom we are associated could mean that person's drive and energy will not necessarily work for us. Fortuna square the Sun of one of our colleagues could mean that his or her issues of power and ego will not prove to be in our favor, or be good for us.
Fortuna sextile the Moon of a sibling or relative might mean that we find that we can count on this person as being a positive factor for us emotionally, due to all the support we get from him or her. That would surely be a sign of very good fortune for us in our family life.
Fortuna trine the Mercury of a friend could mean that we are able to discuss a lot of issues with him or her and get good feedback, and that we can count on our friend to tell us the truth about ourselves, something that is very important, and a sign of a real friendship.
A real friend can be hard to find, so if we come across one in our life journey, then we know we are very lucky indeed.