Norse and Greco-Roman astrology differ in their interpretation of the planets, houses, and runes (signs). Given its foundation in Northern European and heathen tradition, Norse astrology provides better spiritual and psychological insight for individuals of Northern and Central European heritage. Because it generates stable house definitions regardless of birth latitude, it is also more appropriate for those born more than 30 degrees north of the equator.
Planets – Perhaps the most striking difference between Norse and Greco-Roman astrology is how they describe planetary energy. Norse astrology uses the gods and goddesses of the Norse pantheon, and, unlike Greco-Roman, Norse is equally balanced between male and female. The most important planets are Odin the Moon and Freyja the Sun. Female planetary energy manifests itself with Mercury representing Skadhi, Venus representing Frigga, and Neptune representing the Norns. Male planetary energy manifests itself with Mars representing Thor, Jupiter representing Freyr, Saturn representing Tyr, and Uranus representing Loki (who sometimes assumed a feminine form). The northern and southern declinations of the Moon represent Heimdal and Hel. In Norse astrology, the planets have strong affinities to the houses, but a lesser relationship to the runes. In contrast, Greco-Roman planets have strong affinities to the signs (rulerships), but little relationship to the houses.
Houses – An equally compelling difference is the definition of houses in Norse astrology. In contrast to the arbitrarily-placed Greco-Roman houses, Norse astrology uses the eight solar houses of ancient heathen and pagan tradition. The meaning and placement of these eight houses is intuitive and clear. The eternal dimensions of day vs. night and self vs. other define how the houses function within our natal horoscope. The Night-West house is affiliated with the Norns, the Night house with Skadhi, the Night-East house with Frigga, and the East house with Freyja. The Day-East house is affiliated with Thor, the Day house with Freyr, the Day-West house with Tyr, and the West house with Loki. Odin, the eternal wanderer, has no house affiliation.
Runes – Norse astrology uses 24 equal-sized runes to define the planets’ positions along the ecliptic. In addition to providing greater detail, they are a better description of the cosmic forces that influence our 21st century lives. These runes form an alphabet of universal archetypes by which we can explain the attributes of our world, and our selves. In contrast, Greco-Roman astrology tries to depict these forces through the symbolism of sub-human animals. The runes are eternal, for they are independent of the millennial drift of constellations.
Norse astrology is a superior alternative because of the gender balance of its planetary energies, the intuitively clear meaning of its houses, and its stable and archetypal runes.
Copyright (c) 2011, Franz Josef Stern