An experience is inaccessible from a binary “symbolic/literal” axis because it can unfold both ways (and more) at once. So how is it possible at all to interpret a natal chart and say something both about the physical and the psychological reality of the native without becoming dogmatic? The problem of “meaning” is so complex: what exactly are we looking for?
Many of us start learning astrology by attaching keywords to planets. And at one point, the list will become overcrowded and full of overlaps. It’s possible and worthwhile to enter an intimate relationship with the natal chart and meet the energy that animates it before we start to understand it intellectually. This is what I call an “animistic” approach (as opposed to a “symbolic” one).