Advanced Placement Exam

If you have had prior experience studying astrology, either on your own or with another teacher, you may be able to skip certain lessons of the basic course and/or move on to a more advanced course.

To assess your current knowledge of astrology, and find an appropriate point of departure for your study with The Astropoetic School, I would ask you to take the Advanced Placement Exam (downloadable below).

I want to honor the hard work you have done to arrive at your current level of expertise. There is no point in reviewing the alphabet if you are already writing poetry!  However, my approach differs from other schools of astrology, and it is important to get a sense of where, if anywhere, we have common ground and where we don't.

To benefit from the teachings of the School, it may be necessary to unlearn false or misleading truisms; examine unconscious assumptions about the nature and purpose of astrology; and/or acquire practice in applying abstract principles to real life.

You may have a great deal of knowledge at your fingertips, but still need to cultivate an understanding of basic astro-logical principles that is rooted in the wisdom of your own experience.

Because these nuances are often missed in conventional courses of study, this examination is designed not only to measure your knowledge of astrology, but also the depth to which you have made the information yours.

To take the exam, you will need: an accurate copy of your birthchart; an ephemeris; and your journal or other records of important events or experiences in your life.  Please do not use any astrology books to answer the questions.

After reviewing the questions below, you can order a copy of the Advanced Placement Exam (as a Microsoft Word file) here (goes to SHOP: Courses: Advanced Placement Exam). The price of the exam includes my written response and a 1-hour phone or Skype consultation.


Once you receive your downloaded file, you can type your answers directly into it, and then upload it on the Applications page.

The Exam

  1. How would you describe the distribution of planets around the axes of your chart (above and below the horizon; east and west of the meridian), and what does this mean to you? What does this pattern of distribution tell you about your soul's intention in choosing this particular incarnation? 

  2. To which season of the year (spring, summer, fall, winter) does the 4th quadrant of your birthchart correspond and why? To which time of day (morning, afternoon, evening, night) does the 2nd quadrant of your birthchart correspond and why? To which phase of life (childhood, adolescence, young adulthood, mid-life, old age), does the 3rd quadrant of your birthchart correspond and why?

  3. If you saw a chart with a preponderance of planets in angular houses, what would this suggest to you? Do you have a preponderance of planets in angular, succedent, or cadent houses in your chart? If so, how does this manifest in your life?

  4. To which houses would you look for information about the way in which we handle the spiritual task of anchoring our soul's agenda on solid ground? What do these houses in your chart reveal about you?

  5. How are fire signs different than water signs? How would you describe the distribution of planets in your chart among the elements, and what does this tell you about yourself? How do the signs on the angles of your chart either complement or counterbalance the impact of this distribution, and how do you experience this in your life?

  6. How are fixed signs different than mutable signs? How would you describe the distribution of planets in your chart among the modalities, and what does this tell you about yourself? How do the signs on the angles of your chart either complement or counterbalance the impact of this distribution, and how do you experience this in your life?

  7. Describe the following signs in terms of the interplay between light and dark that occurs during the time of year when the sun moves through them: a) Taurus; b) Libra; and c) Pisces. Note which sign the Sun is moving through now and describe how you experience the balance of light and dark related to this sign in your own life.

  8. How are transpersonal planets different than collective planets in terms of their impact on the human psyche? How do transpersonal planets impact the function of luminaries (Sun or Moon) to which they are in natal aspect? Do you have such an aspect in your chart? If so, how do you experience this impact?

  9. What does the soli-lunar relationship in your natal chart tell you about the agenda that brought you to this particular juncture in your soul's evolutionary journey? Speaking as a soul with these particular placements of Sun and Moon, how you would describe your journey to this point? What are you hoping to accomplish (in a spiritual sense) in this lifetime?

  10. Using the ephemeris, and a one degree orb, give the dates for: a) your last Saturn return; b) transiting Jupiter's last waxing sextile to your natal Moon; c) Mars' next waning inconjunct to your natal Neptune.

  11. What is the difference between a waxing and waning square? How did you experience this difference in terms of your life experience, when transiting Saturn last formed waxing and waning squares to your natal Saturn? That is to say, how were these two periods of your life representative of waxing and waning energies in relation to Saturn's cycle?

  12. Which planet would you look to in order to understand something of the way in which an individual is likely to communicate? How is this planet situated in your chart (by house placement, sign, and major aspects), and how do you experience this in terms of your own patterns of communication?

  13. Describe the interaction between Mars and Venus in your chart? How do you experience this interaction within the context of your close personal relationships?

  14. Describe three hypothetical situations in which a Jupiter transit might bring undesirable consequences. List the ways in which Saturn has personally blessed you with its gifts.

  15. Describe your last major Neptune transit. What was Neptune's alchemical function within this experience? That is to say, beneath the outer melodrama of the experience itself, how was Neptune serving to facilitate your soul's agenda?

  16. What does it mean when one planet sits at the midpoint between two other planets? Can you find an example of this in your own chart? If so, how does this planetary configuration manifest in your life?

  17. What are your core issues in this life, and how are they reflected in your birthchart? Trace one of these core issues (as far as possible) through a cyclical history of hard aspects, and evaluate the progress (or lack thereof) that you are making in dealing with this issue, on the basis of the evidence revealed by this history.

    For example: if you determine that one of your core issues is related to a Sun-Saturn square, then trace the evolution of your relationship to this pattern by remembering back to those periods of your life when transiting Saturn was conjunct, square, or opposed your natal Sun; observe how you were dealing with this core issue at each juncture of this cycle; and then draw your conclusions about progress (or lack thereof) on the basis of what you observe.

  18. How would you interpret a birthchart calculated for 10:02 AM EST November 29, 1952 at Cleveland, Ohio? Hint: this is a trick question.

After downloading the exam, click here.

Copyright 2020 - Joe Landwehr