3

Basic Essentials

a $19.99 / b $17.99 / c $14.99 / d $6.99 / e $9.99 / f $9.99 / g $14.99 / h $11.99 / i $60 / j $20.57 / k $8.59 / l $28.59 / m $4.15 / n $13.99 / o $16.99 / p $14.99 / q $19.45 / r $10.99 / s $23.99 / t $11.49 / u $15.99 / v $13.50 / w $9.99 / x $19.33

2

1. Title

Choose what subject you’re focusing the mindmap on and write the title in a bubble at the centre of the page. If the subject is very broad, make sure to use large A3 paper to fit all the information you need on!

2. Split up your subject

Work out what sub-sections there are within the subject- I chose the mindmap above because the sections are very clear. Working this out before you start writing will help you plan how much space your writing can take up, as well as making you less likely to repeat information in other parts of the mind map. I usually make these sub-sections related to exam questions that can be asked on the subject. Draw an arrow from the centre bubble and write the title of your first section.

3. Elaborate

Now write down the important facts within each section, using arrows coming from the sub-titles. Keep writing brief and highlight important information in a bright colour so that you can easily scan the mind map later to see the key facts. Use bullet points if you find it hard to write concisely. I also like to use illustrations to make my mindmaps stand out (although there aren’t any on the mindmap above because I was trying to keep it qite minimal) I find that if I add funny pictures to the information, I remember it better.

4. Extras

If there is anything else important that doesn’t fit your categories, put it around the edges of the mindmap. In the map above, I’ve added some examples of past exam questions in a space at the top right of the mindmap. Sometimes I even staple down flashcards or important handouts that are related to the subject! Try adding your own little touches and see what you find most useful.

I hope this helps you to study in a more creative way! x

another style of mindmap that I often make

my post on how to take good notes

basics

signs

aries

  • characteristics: optimistic, energetic, aggressive
  • element: fire
  • modality: cardinal
  • sister sign: libra
  • ruled by: mars
  • rules: first house

taurus

  • characteristics: sensual, stubborn, realistic
  • element: earth
  • modality: fixed
  • sister sign: scorpio
  • ruled by: venus
  • rules: second house

gemini

  • characteristics: talkative, witty, adaptable
  • element: air
  • modality: mutable
  • sister sign: sagittarius
  • ruled by: mercury
  • rules: third house

cancer

  • characteristics: nurturing, intuitive, emotional
  • element: water
  • modality: cardinal
  • sister sign: capricorn
  • ruled by: the moon
  • rules: fourth house

leo

  • characteristics: protective, generous, prideful
  • element: fire
  • modality: fixed
  • sister sign: aquarius
  • ruled by: the sun
  • rules: fifth house

virgo

  • characteristics: critical, organized, shy
  • element: earth
  • modality: mutable
  • sister sign: pisces
  • ruled by: mercury
  • rules: sixth house

libra

  • characteristics: polite, oblivious, fair
  • element: air
  • modality: cardinal
  • sister sign: aries
  • ruled by: venus
  • rules: seventh house

scorpio

  • characteristics: powerful, secretive, jealous
  • element: water
  • modality: fixed
  • sister sign: taurus
  • ruled by: pluto
  • rules: eighth house

sagittarius

  • characteristics: adventurous, funny, impatient
  • element: fire
  • modality: mutable
  • sister sign: gemini
  • ruled by: jupiter
  • rules: ninth house

capricorn

  • characteristics: responsible, independent, unimaginative
  • element: earth
  • modality: cardinal
  • sister sign: cancer
  • ruled by: saturn
  • rules: tenth house

aquarius

  • characteristics: creative, rebellious, eccentric
  • element: air
  • modality: fixed
  • sister sign: leo
  • ruled by: uranus
  • rules: eleventh house

pisces

  • characteristics: imaginative, selfless, sensitive
  • element: water
  • modality: mutable
  • sister sign: virgo
  • ruled by: neptune
  • rules: twelfth house


modalities

cardinal

  • characteristic: initiating 
  • signs: aries, cancer, libra, capricorn

fixed

  • characteristic: sustaining
  • signs: taurus, leo, scorpio, aquarius

mutable

  • characteristic: changing
  • signs: gemini, virgo, sagittarius, pisces


elements

fire

  • characteristics: action-oriented, creative
  • signs: aries, leo, sagittarius

earth

  • characteristics: stable, practicle
  • signs: taurus, virgo, capricorn

air

  • characteristics: intellectual, unpredictable
  • signs: gemini, libra, aquarius

water

  • characteristics: psychic, sensitive
  • signs: cancer, scorpio, pisces


planets

sun: personality, ego

moon: emotions, behavior patterns

mercury: communication, thoughts

venus: beauty, love, female

mars: aggression, vitality, male

jupiter: growth, luck, charity

saturn: boundaries, responsibilities

uranus: rebellion, change

neptune: dreams, imagination

pluto: obsession, power


houses

first house: self, individual (rising/ascendant)

second house: possessions

third house: communication

fourth house: home

fifth house: creativity, fun

sixth house: schedules, health

seventh house: partnerships

eighth house: transformation, death

ninth house: adventure, growth

tenth house: public image, career (midheaven)

eleventh house: friends, social justice

twelfth house: imagination, endings


major aspects

sextile

  • degree: 60°
  • polarity: positive
  • indicates: harmony, natural talents 

trine

  • degree: 120°
  • polarity: positive
  • indicates: luck, oppurtunity, creativity

conjunct

  • degree:
  • polarity: neutral
  • indicates: blend, two energies working as one

opposition

  • degree: 180°
  • polarity: negative
  • indicates: tension, energies compete for center stage

square

  • degree: 90°
  • polarity: negative
  • indicates: conflict, challenges


asteroids

chiron

  • keywords: healing, wounds

ceres

  • keywords: cooking, nuturing, parenting

pallas athena

  • keywords: creativity, justice, talents

juno

  • keywords: soulmates, marriage, commitment

vesta

  • keywords: pure, perfection, insecurities
4

Ive been getting an influx of messages from students asking me what they can do to become a story artist. I decided to put together a list of a few basic things to get you started on the journey. There is much more that goes into making a good story artist but these are just some of my personal suggestions to start.

First, I always like to suggest some reading material. Here are  few books that really helped me wrap my head around a few ideas:

  1. Visual Story- Bruce Block
  2. Story- Robert Mckee
  3. The 5C’s of Cinematography- Joseph Mascelli
  4. Save the Cat-Blake Snyder
  5. On Filmmaking- Alexander Mackendrick 

Next i’d suggest watching as many movies as possible. Studies from the greats Kubrick, Spielberg, Hitchcock, Coen Brothers, Kurosawa, or whoever else you find yourself drawn to. When I say study, I mean really analyze the film from all angles. (camera, composition, Story telling, dialogue, acting.) Have a piece of paper nearby and draw small thumbnails of compositions. 

Check out the AFI Top 100 lists for starters:  http://www.afi.com/100years/movies10.aspx

Storyboarding involves a lot of drawing. Usually quick drawings that have clear reads. So to better your skills draw as much as possible! Draw everything! But not just mindless drawing really think about what you are drawing and why. Look for specific gestures, facial expressions, and designs. A great way to learn this is through life drawing. 

Lastly, Tell stories! The job of a story artist is to visually tell a story through drawings in order to inform others in the production. Great drawings are really second to great storytelling. A good way to improve on telling stories is to do it as much as possible no matter the medium.

Again these are just some of my personal suggestions and a place to start the journey. Hope its helpful! 

THE ELEMENTS

fire (aries, leo, sagittarius):
they are bold, confident, and energetic. they love to inspired and to be inspired. whether they show it or not they are very power driven and are optimistic.

earth (taurus, virgo, capricorn):
they are modest, stable, and laid-back. they are fixed on material matters, such as money and possessions. whether they show it or not they are fuelled by respect and are realistic.

air (gemini, libra, aquarius):
they are witty, social, and intelligent. they are often detached and daydreamers but can focus when needed. they admire logic over emotion and are pragmatistic.

water (cancer, scorpio, pisces):
they are emotional, spiritual, and caring. they are the healers and comforter who nurture those they hold dear. whether they show it or not they have a tough side and are pessimistic.
Natal Astrology: The Basics

What is astrology?

Here is the definition of the field of astrology from astro.com:

“Astrology sees mankind as being not only influenced by hereditary factors and the environment, but also by the state of our solar system at the moment of birth. The planets are regarded as basic life-forces, the tools we live by as well as the basis of our very substance. These planetary forces take on different forms, depending on their zodiacal position and on the way they relate to one another.“

Astrology doesn’t dictate our lives, and it’s not a set of instructions we will or have to follow. Your natal chart does not carve your personality or life into stone, and you (as a person) are not your natal chart. We can use astrology to discover our potential and to see what we are capable of.

What is a natal chart?

Your natal chart shows the positions of the planets, asteroids, and other points at the moment of your birth, relative to the zodiac signs. Each zodiac sign is designated a 30º portion of the celestial dome, and our natal chart shows where the celestial bodies are positioned in the dome. For example, I am a Gemini moon, which means that at the moment of my birth, the moon was present in the portion of the dome assigned to Gemini.

Your natal chart as a whole maps out how you express yourself, perceive reality, and interface with the world around you. It does not determine your fate.

You can find your natal chart at any of these following websites (if you do not understand anything in my descriptions of each website, that’s okay! I’ll explain everything soon:

  • Astrolabe: Creates a basic circular chart with a placement-by-placement explanation, but the houses are not labelled and the chart does not come with a table of aspects
  • Cafeastrology: Creates tables showing planetary placements, house positions, aspects, and asteroids. Also creates circular chart (at bottom of page) with an aspects table. However, the first tables of placements do not show directly the house position of the placements or chart shapes. Comes with placement-by-placement explanation.
  • Astrotheme: Creates basic circular chart. Easier to read than astrolabe and comes with more, easy-to-use options. Also comes with explanations of each placement.
  • Astro-charts: Creates very aesthetically-pleasing chart and clearly displays placements, aspects, and house positions (along with house position of planets) in tables. Does not come with placement-by-placement explanations, I believe.
  • Astro.com: Creates basic circular chart with aspect table. Comes with many, many options. My personal favorite.

What are the zodiac signs and planets?

The sign each planet (sun, moon, Mercury,…,Pluto) is located within in your natal chart shows what sort of energy the different parts of your essence contain. Each zodiac sign is defined by a certain basic archetype with a distinct sort of energy. For the sake of brevity, I am going to sum the zodiac signs up using a few keywords that define their traits.

  • Aries: aggressive, brave, playful, active
  • Taurus: lazy, determined, artistic, loyal
  • Gemini: analytical, bubbly, restless, talkative
  • Cancer: defensive, empathetic, parental, caring
  • Leo: creative, dramatic, prideful, affectionate
  • Virgo: selfless, practical, critical, dependable
  • Libra: romantic, elegant, indecisive, social
  • Scorpio: mysterious, jealous, suspicious, stubborn
  • Sagittarius: honest, carefree, reckless, philosophical
  • Capricorn: ambitious, hardworking, greedy, careful
  • Aquarius: rebellious, unique, innovative, distant
  • Pisces: emotional, dreamy, manipulative, flexible

Each planet represents a different part of your essence.

  • Sun: Your identity, expression, ego
  • Moon: Your unconscious self, desires, emotions
  • Mercury: Your mental processes, communication, decision making
  • Venus: What you look for in relationships and partners, your style
  • Mars: Your drive, passion, sexuality
  • Jupiter: What expands you, your luck, growth, and your generosity
  • Saturn: What limits you, the lessons you learn, fear, and work ethic
  • Uranus: Your individuality, freedom, rebellion
  • Neptune: Your spirituality, ideals, deception
  • Pluto: Your most primitive side, your secrets

If you are looking for the rising/ascendant or midheaven, look under the section explaining houses.

Of course, like the zodiac signs, the planets can’t be fully encompassed using just keywords like the ones above, but they give you a good idea.

So, if, for example, your sun is in Sagittarius. Your identity, expression, etc. all has energy of the Sagittarius archetype. That is, you’re probably honest, carefree, and philosophical, though other placements in your chart can affect how these traits are presented.

The zodiac signs are classified three different ways: the modalities, the elements, and the dualities.

  • The modalities are cardinal (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Cancer; dynamic, leader-like signs), fixed (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius; stubborn, determined signs), and mutable (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces; flexible, adaptable signs).
  • The elements are fire (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius; active, passionate signs), earth (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn; hardworking, practical signs), air (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius; social, idealistic signs), and water (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces; emotional, intuitive signs).
  • The dualities are masculine/yang/active (all fire and air signs; extroverted) and feminine/yin/passive (all earth and water signs; introverted).

What are houses?

[from my house guide here]

Astronomically, the positions of the houses in a natal chart are calculated using the person’s time of birth and geographical birth location. While the zodiac signs and the planets in the zodiac signs are based on the earth and the other planet’s revolution around the sun, the houses and the planets in the houses are based on the earth’s own rotation about its axis.

Astrologically, each house represents a different function of your life, and all the houses together encompass all the parts of a human’s full life.

Here are the life functions each of the houses represent:

  • House I: Expression (aka rising/ascendant)
  • House II: Possessions, money
  • House III: Communication
  • House IV: Family, your roots and home
  • House V: Creativity, children, sex
  • House VI: Service, health
  • House VII: Relationships, marriage
  • House VIII: Death, transformation
  • House IX: Travel, philosophy
  • House X: Career, reputation (aka midheaven)
  • House XI: Friends, dreams
  • House XII: Secrets, self-undoing

Every planet in your chart is in a house the same way it is in a sign. There are two wheels in your chart as depicted below. There is the zodiac wheel which contain the signs (traced in purple) and the wheel of houses which contain the houses (traced in black). Houses can be uneven in size.

For example: look at the chart above, and find the moon symbol towards the top of the chart. It’s in the black division designated for the 9th house (you can see the tiny number 9 towards the center of the circle) and the purple division designated for Gemini (you can see the yellow glyph for Gemini at the edge of the chart above the moon).

The sign (Aries…Pisces) a planet is in shows HOW the planet is manifest in the person’s personality. The house (I…XII) a planet is in shows WHERE in the person’s life the planet’s energy is displayed. For example, my Venus is in my 1st house, which means my style and my love for relationships is very present in my expression.

What are aspects?

Aspects are special angles that show relationships between your planets. Aspects show how different planets clash with, strengthen, or work in harmony with each other. There are major and minor aspects, and in this post I will explain the major aspects.

  • Conjunction (☌): When two planets are ~0º away from each other, they form a conjunction. A conjunction almost morphs the energy of both planets together. For example, a person with Mercury conjunct Sun will show Mercury traits in their expression.
  • Trine (△): When two planets are ~120º away from each other, they form a trine aspect. A trine brings strong harmony between those two planets.
  • Sextile (*): When two planets are ~60º away from each other, they form a sextile aspect. A sextile aspect is similar to the trine aspect, but weaker.
  • Opposition (☍): When two planets are ~180º away from each other, they form an opposition. An opposition brings tension between the two parts of your essence ruled by those planets.
  • Square (☐): When two planets are ~90º away from each other, they form a square aspect. A square aspect also brings tension between the two parts of your essence ruled by those planets.

To find your aspects, use one of the websites listed above that provide aspect information.

Where can I learn more about my natal chart?

Practice looking up each individual sign/house position and aspect present in your chart. After reflecting on and studying your chart for a while, you will see how everything comes together to form the map of your essence. You can use Google to look up your placements, or you can use almost any of the sites mentioned above where you can pull up your natal chart (I suggest Cafeastrology - it’s my favorite) or books from your local bookstore, library, or Amazon.

Dualities, Elements, and Modalities: How to Classify the Zodiac Signs

There are three simple ways the zodiac signs are classified and grouped together: the dualities, the elements, and the modalities. Each zodiac sign is a unique combination of an duality, element, and modality.

The Dualities

There are two dualities: masculine and feminine. These aren’t to be confused with the society’s definition of “masculine” and “feminine.” The two dualities simply show us the direction of the signs’ energy.

  • The masculine signs are Aries, Gemini, Leo, Libra, Sagittarius, and Aquarius. The masculine duality is also called the extroverted, active, or yang duality. The signs all direct their energy outwards. They tend to be more extroverted and assertive.
  • The feminine signs are Taurus, Cancer, Virgo, Scorpio, Capricorn, and Pisces. The feminine duality is also called the introverted, passive, or yin duality. The signs all direct their energy inwards. They tend to be more introverted and less direct.

The Elements

There are four elements or triplicities: fire, earth, air, and water. The four elements simply show us basic personality traits associated with the signs’ archetypes. Note that the masculine signs above comprise of the fire and air signs, while the feminine signs comprise of the earth and water signs.

  • The fire signs are Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius. Fire signs are enthusiastic, energetic, outgoing, passionate, and brave. The fire signs also rule the Houses of Life (the 1st, 5th, and 9th houses).
  • The earth signs are Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn. Earth signs are hardworking, sensual, and practical. The earth signs also rule the Houses of Wealth (the 2nd, 6th, and 10th houses).
  • The air signs are Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius. Air signs are intellectual, social, and idealistic. The air signs also rule the Houses of Relationships (the 3rd, 7th, and 11th houses).
  • The water signs are Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces. Water signs are emotional, intuitive, and moody. The water signs also rule the Houses of Endings (the 4th, 8th, and 12th houses).

The Modalities

There are three modalities or quadruplicities: cardinal, fixed, and mutable. The three modalities show us how the signs interact with the world around them.

  • The cardinal signs are Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn. Cardinal signs are dynamic, enterprising, with strong leadership qualities. The cardinal signs also rule the Angular Houses (the 1st, 4th, 7th, and 10th houses).
  • The fixed signs are Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius. Fixed signs are stubborn, determined, and relentless. The fixed signs also rule the Succedent Houses (the 2nd, 5th, 8th, and 11th houses).
  • The mutable signs are Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces. Mutable signs are easy-going, flexible, and adaptable. The mutable signs also rule the Cadent Houses (the 3rd, 6th, 9th, and 12th houses).

Summary

So look at the zodiac wheel below. Here is the key to the colors used:

  • Orange: Cardinal sign
  • Purple: Fixed sign
  • Pink: Mutable sign
  • Red: Fire sign
  • Green: Earth sign
  • Darker blue: Water sign
  • Sky blue: Air sign
  • White dot: Masculine
  • Black dot: Feminine

So you can see how much pattern exists within the zodiac wheel.

Below is the unique combination of duality, element, and modality for each zodiac sign:

ARIES: Masculine, Fire, Cardinal

TAURUS: Feminine, Earth, Fixed

GEMINI: Masculine: Air, Mutable

CANCER: Feminine, Water, Cardinal

LEO: Masculine, Fire, Fixed

VIRGO: Feminine, Earth, Mutable

LIBRA: Masculine, Air, Cardinal

SCORPIO: Feminine, Water, Fixed

SAGITTARIUS: Masculine, Fire, Mutable

CAPRICORN: Feminine, Earth, Cardinal

AQUARIUS: Masculine, Air, Fixed

PISCES: Feminine, Water, Mutable

Why MBTI Type Descriptions Can Seem “Off”

When Myers and Briggs developed the MBTI system, they decided to gloss over very important aspects of Jung’s original theory of cognitive functions in order to make typology easier for everyday people to understand. Unfortunately, this has led to many of the problems people experience when trying to type themselves. Generic type descriptions cannot capture the true range and variety that can be found within each type, which leaves many people out in the cold. Read type descriptions with a huge grain of salt because they have some serious flaws.

1. Behavioral Boxes: MBTI type descriptions assign a particular set of behaviors to each type in order to help people easily figure out which type they are, which has resulted in the common labels that are usually associated with each type, e.g., ESFP entertainers, ESTJ managers, INFP dreamers, ISTP craftsmen. These labels are deceiving because they portray each type as a collection of traits rather than explaining the causes/reasons for why each type displays those traits. Why do ESFPs like to entertain? Can you still be an ESFP if you don’t like to perform? Is this a fundamental quality of ESFPs? Are there ESFPs out there who do not like to perform? Answer: Yes. So what is a “real” ESFP? This is a question that can only be answered by cognitive function theory. This is because cognitive functions don’t start at the level of traits, rather, they begin at the root level of the mind, describing the psychological forces that give rise to those traits. As long as you possess a particular pattern of cognitive functioning, you are that type regardless of whether or not all of your behaviors match up to the generic label/description. This cognitive pattern of psychological drives is set very early in life but it is a dynamic process that shifts according to which of the functions are being used for responding to environmental demands - remember that there are many different factors that can affect how a person acts aside from their personality, therefore, beliefs and behaviors are not 100% accurate metrics. The most important point when typing: What are the underlying cognitive forces producing those beliefs and behaviors?

2. Development Blindness: MBTI descriptions tend to be skewed towards the dominant and auxiliary functions, with the assumption that they are working in a typical or ideal manner. For instance, INFJs are considered empathic “counselors” because Ni-Fe makes them care about improving other people’s lives, which serves to create the stereotype of them being almost saintlike. Are there INFJs out there who dislike people or don’t care about improving society? Absolutely, but MBTI can’t explain how or why a person’s type might appear to change or deviate from what is considered typical or ideal. Cognitive function theory is a part of the psychoanalytic tradition (as pioneered by Sigmund Freud) and a central tenet of this school is the notion of ego development. People grow and mature over time - or fail to do so in unhealthy cases - and accumulation of knowledge and experience can alter how someone uses their functions throughout life even as their type remains the same. As a result, an individual’s cognitive functions can be expressed through a variety of healthy or unhealthy behaviors depending on where a person is at in the process of ego development.

3. Strength Bias: MBTI descriptions are often skewed towards the strengths and favorables of each type (because that is what people like to read about themselves) and weaknesses are usually only mentioned in passing if mentioned at all. However, the flaws/weaknesses are exactly what you need in order to distinguish the types with greater accuracy! Two different types can display the same behavior but for entirely different cognitive reasons. In order to tell the difference between them, you should understand the darker elements of the two types, the elements that a person subconsciously seeks to repress or avoid as expressed through the lower functions. A lot of people have difficulty with this step because they lack self-awareness and don’t understand their own dark side. The differences between types are most apparent as you move lower down the functional stack but MBTI descriptions leave out this important fact. Cognitive function theory says that you must look at the entirety of your personality - your strengths and weaknesses, your dislikes and hang ups, your flaws, your defense mechanisms, your fears and insecurities, your adaptive and maladaptive behaviors - to understand why these things exist as well as the process through which your four functions have produced these things in you as a unique individual. If you only take 1-2 major aspects of the personality, as MBTI descriptions often do, or if you only look at the first one or two functions, then you are missing too much of the big picture and cannot type accurately.

see: Cognitive Function Guide to Typing Yourself