When it comes to analyzing horoscopes, one of the things that I find hardest to be sure about relates to my client's parents. In general, finding parents in a horoscope is very easy, but knowing who is who can, at times, be very tricky.
Traditionally, your mother is represented in the horoscope by the Moon and the 4th house. Your father is represented by both the Sun and Saturn and the 10th house. However, as astrology modernizes and attempts to catch up with the ever changing dynamics of modern family life, these stereotypical "rules" seem to apply less and less often. For example, it is increasingly common for parents to divorce and remarry or for only one parent to raise a child or even for someone else to have a dominant role in raising a child even though they're not a parent (a grandparent for example, or a nanny). So in these kind of situations what do we do?
Well, in my opinion, the first thing to remember is that the people reflected in your horoscope are usually the ones who have had the most psychological or emotional impact on your life. The next thing to remember is that the way in which those people were perceived by you will usually determine whether they are found in the 4th or 10th house. Who was the primary discipline giver? If your mother was the one who kept order at home then the chances are she is heavily represented in your 10th house, and not necessarily your 4th. The 10th house is ruled by the sign of Capricorn, a sign associated with being hard working, organized, and at times controlling. Not all mum's feel comfortable laying down the rules however, and will have often deferred to dad to bring the kids back into line. In this case, I would tend to look to the 4th house to find mum.
The astrologer Noel Tyl also talks about the need to look for Saturn retrograde in our charts. His research has led to him to the conclusion that, more often than not, those of us who had aggressive or overly controlling dads (plus those of us who didn't know our dads or whose dad's were present but very passive) usually have (but not always) Saturn retrograde.
In fact, you should always look to see if either your Sun, Saturn, 4th house and 10th house are under stress in your horoscope (start by looking for planets that square or are opposite to that planet or house). These kind of stresses give key indications on the type of relationship you may have had with your father and whether he was someone who met your emotional needs or who neglected them.
The important thing to remember when looking for your dad in your horoscope is that he may be found in more than one place. You need to reserve judgment on this until you have completed your analysis. In particularly, always remember that if you were someone who didn't just have one dad but who was also raised by a Step-dad, then that dad will be in your horoscope too. You need to gather all the data and then stand back and look at the picture objectively. Don't just assume that because you have planet X in opposition to planet Y that this represents your dad. It might not. It might even, as we have seen, be a better reflection of your mum!