FORM AND THE PATTERN OF PLANETARY ASPECTS
Form is, generally speaking, the element of being which defines the particular out of the universal. Every particular manifestation of life has a form which essentially and spiritually characterizes it, giving it a determinable significance in terms of the manner in which it relates itself as a whole to universal life. Form is an abstraction. To speak of form as a tangible reality is to misuse the term and to confuse it with "body." One of the most unfortunate practices in modern Theosophy has been to use the term "form" where "body" was meant. The confusion is apparently rooted in an old distinction current in Hindu philosophy, but which is most likely due to a faulty translation of words; or perhaps even more to a misinterpretation or misunderstanding of the concept behind the words. Our Western mind is apt to materialize the metaphysical concepts of the East and by so doing to get involved in an approach to life which is not truly integrative.
Form is an abstraction. It signifies the essential patterning or relationship of parts within a whole by means of which this whole is defined as a particular entity. Form is a complex of relationships: a total formula of relationships of parts to parts and parts to whole. The individuality of this whole is thus totally defined and made significant by this form.
Body is unsubstantiated form and incorporated substance. Form, in itself, has no substantial implications, though it is originally and in terms of life-purpose determined by the need of the substantial elements which it correlates and integrates into a body. Body is an agglomeration of substantial elements (atoms, molecules, etc.) which is made relatively permanent and significant by the fact that it has form. Form is abstract. It is the blueprint of the skyscraper defining its structure generally and in all its details of functioning. The completed skyscraper is a body — substantial and tangible.
The form defines the significance and purpose of the body. One can conceive of a realm of pure form inoperative and unconnected with substance or materials: a realm of blueprints and algebraical formulas. This, in a sense, is the world of archetypes or ideas — except that energy is always associated with what are called archetypes or ideas, whereas there is no energy ordinarily connected with the concepts of algebraical formulas or blueprints. One might say that this is the difference between idea and concept: The idea is vital and charged with potential life-energy; the concept is purely intellectual. The distinction might be the same as that between algebra (a system of abstract symbolism which "works," i.e., which has been useful in interpreting data of experiences) and algorism (also a perfectly logical system of symbolism, but one which as yet has never been useful or applied).
In this sense — which is not universally accepted — an idea is a seed at the psycho-mental level. It is a seed, because it is both form and energy. The idea will eventually germinate and become a body: an individual organism or a social racial organism — a great human movement, an institution that is operative among men. On the other hand, the concept is a mere intellectual structure, form as yet uncharged with life energy. A concept becomes an idea when a being — human, superhuman, or divine — identifies himself with the concept and pours energy into it.
Thus we have the basic trinity: energy, form, substance, synthesized by the fourth term: personality. Personality itself is, however, the ultimate manifestation of a more universal term: activity. When activity becomes truly creative in an individual sense, real personality is born. But we have previously used the term personality as meaning "a pattern of human behavior;" and so, inasmuch as we are considering primarily the psychological aspect of astrology, we can use the term personality as the fourth term, in which energy, form and substance are synthesized.
In the preceding chapters we have studied the four fundamental factors in astrology: the dial of houses, the signs of the zodiac, the planets and the degrees. We pointed out that the first two factors were generated by the two primary motions of the Earth, axial rotation and orbital revolution, and as such, corresponded respectively to the individual and the collective elements of being. The degree, being a synthesis of the two motions, was said to reveal the creative element, the element of significance. We furthermore referred to the planets (considered in their totality as the solar system viewed from the Earth) as indicators of personality.
These characterizations were made in relation to human psychology. But if we wish to broaden them so as to include every possible manifestation of life, we shall have to refer to the four terms above mentioned: energy, form, substance and activity. Using now these latter terms, we can redefine our fundamental astrological factors as follows:
The zodiac represents substance. It constitutes the substance of all life-manifestations on Earth, for it refers to the varying relationship of the Earth to the source and origin of all life. The signs of the zodiac symbolize the twelve basic types of life-substance, at every level of being. Substance stands for the collective. Every astrological factor is always referred to the zodiac, just as every individual manifestation of being is born out of, and is a particular combination of, collective materials.
The dial of houses stands thus for form, for that which essentially characterizes the "particular combination" — i.e., the individual. While the zodiac is a spatial and objective factor, the dial of houses refers inherently to time and subjective values, to the form of the individual selfhood, symbolized primarily by the "cross within the circle" — the familiar astrological wheel being a further differentiation, by trisection, of the basic mandala of the soul (Cf. "Astrology and Analytical Psychology,").
Form, however, may be considered either from the point of view of the individual selfhood or from that of the active and creative personality. That is to say, it can be represented astrologically by the relation of the Earth to the zodiacal space surrounding it — the Earth's magnetic field; or by the relation of the Earth to the totality of the solar system surrounding it. In other words, my particular orientation to life as an individual is a subjective factor. It is the way I realize, I feel, I sense, I think of myself. It is my point of view on life. It relates myself to life. The form of this relationship is given by the houses.
On the other hand, as a human personality involved in actions and reactions, living with other personalities in a vast world of human relationships, I also have a certain rhythm of behavior. This rhythm is my personality; and it may express exactly my individual point of view on life — or it may not. This, because it is an attempt at adjusting or balancing the individual and the collective factors in my life; thus, a sort of compromise — at best, the integration of opposite tendencies. Astrologically speaking, this complex rhythm of behavior is symbolized by the solar system as a whole, as seen from the Earth; which means by the related positions of all planets (including always Sun and Moon) in my birth-chart. This we called the "planetary pattern." It gives us a second type of form — form, not in relation to the individual per se, but with reference to personality, or to the term "activity."
Thus we have, let us say, subjective form — determined by the relationship between the chart's axes and the ecliptic; and objective form — determined by the relative positions of all the planets, and also by their positions relative to the chart's axes (horizon and meridian). We shall study briefly these two types of form; but there is one more point to dispose of. We have considered the elements of "substance," "form" and "activity." Nothing has as yet been said concerning "energy."
Energy is the factor of motion, implied in all the other factors discussed so far. Motion is the energizing principle in all living. It is at the core of zodiacal substance spread in collective space. It is the power of unfoldment at the center of all individual selfhood born out of the womb of time. It is the vital power in the maze of activities in and through which personality demonstrates itself. Moreover, significance is born out of a combination of motions. It is as the individual interprets the collective substance of all functions and all activities that significance arises. Significance is symbolized by the "degree" which is archetypally the amount of orbital space covered in a day by the Earth, the amount of universal substance (zodiac) assimilated by the individual in his basic cycle of awareness (cycle of the Earth's rotation — day).
Significance is ubiquitous, but only as a potentiality. Every astrological symbol is not only to be interpreted in terms of its position in one or another of the zodiacal signs, but it is located in (or on) a degree. It has, therefore, potentially at least, significance. But the realm of significance is not only "individual," it is "collective" as well. The number of degrees of the zodiac is a finite number. And this number characterizes the spiritual status of the planet as a whole. Significance is thus a planetary factor applicable to individuals. It is the gate through which the individual man enters the being, or beness, of the planetary Individual. Conversely, there is an action of the planetary Individual (call it Logos, or God) upon the individual man, as there is one upon collective mankind. The latter is revealed in what we called the "Great Polar Cycle" — ordinarily named the cycle of the precession of the equinoxes; the former might be found in a symbolization of the "degrees" of that cycle. What is meant by "degrees" in such a cycle might be suggested indirectly by the subsidiary motion of the poles (nutation) whose cycle equals the cycle of the Moon's nodes.
It might be added that the Moon, and those cycles of energy which we have considered as "higher Moons:" represent a particular aspect of energy in terms of the "personality" factor. The Moon is the visible symbol of those energy-cycles because it is the Earth's satellite. Its revolution around the Earth represents Earth-centered actual motion. Its phases can be seen to affect the processes of life-growth. At higher levels the several "Moons" control the tides of psychic, mental and spiritual energy.
What is considered under this heading is really the factor of the Earth's inclination upon the plane of its orbit, as it manifests in the birth-charts of individuals. Because of this inclination, a house contains; in most cases, either more or less than thirty degrees of zodiacal longitude. The crowding or spreading of zodiacal space within the fixed framework of the twelve houses creates a certain type of form. The same sign of the zodiac may appear on two successive cusps, or there may be "intercepted signs." This brings out important elements of significance, which cannot be easily understood, however, unless one gives more attention to the matter of cusps, a matter often misunderstood.
Referring to previous chapters, we need hardly emphasize the fact that the "dial of houses" is to be considered as the dial of a watch projecting in space a process that actually occurs in time. The circle of twelve houses charts on a flat sheet the rotation of the Earth around its axis, the successive changes of position of the horizon throughout the day. The two opposite cusps represent a position of the horizon every two hours as the Earth turns around the axis whose ends are the North and South Poles. In the birth-chart, the line formed by the cusps of the first and the seventh houses is actually the horizon at the time and place of the birth. The line formed by the cusps of the second and eighth houses gives the position of the horizon two hours later; the line formed by the cusps of the third and ninth houses, the position of the horizon four hours later, etc. Thus the contents of a house are the sum total of celestial phenomena reaching the horizon during a two-hour period; and each cusp should be considered as the Eastern horizon — the point of awareness of self — at different times and related to successive phases of individual selfhood and destiny.
Each cusp carries the basic significance of "Eastern horizon." It marks the beginning of a new period of awareness, and is a moment of primordial significance in relation to everything that will occur during the period it initiates. Each cusp is a moment of initiation, a birth-moment. What the self of the native, the "I am," becomes aware of during that moment determines the significance of the two-hour period which follows. He becomes aware of a certain section, or degree, of the zodiac — and the whole period (house) is characterized by, "ruled" by, that degree and sign of the zodiac — and, by implication, by the planet whose function correlates with the nature of the sign.
In other words, at each cusp the "I am" is born in one of its aspects. This cuspal moment is a seed-moment, a moment of transition from one stage of being to another. The twelve cusps represent twelve great life-transitions, and thus carry the meaning of those critical moments in life in which not only is there a slow passage from one phase to another, but when something occurs which is unique and which partakes of the meaning of "birth" or "seed."
Such "seed-moments" are creative utterances of the whole individual. They are acts of manifestation of the self: creative acts, moments of freedom. The individual is "free" only at his cusps. It is only during these moments of ''life-transition'' that man is not conditioned utterly by the consequences of past actions, by the effects of previous causes. It is only then that he can truly operate as an "individual;" for at any other time he is bound by the group or collectivity of which he has become a part. He is geared to his group, bound by the initiative he has taken during the cuspmoment and by the environment he has chosen — more or less deliberately — in which to work out this initiative. At the cusp, the individual is, as it were, "in neutral" — able to move into whatever gear or speed he chooses.
For instance, at the cusp of the seventh house the individual chooses, symbolically, his mate or partner. The cusp is the symbol of his initiative and of his creative freedom in this particular seventh-house phase of life-experience. Once he has chosen, he is no longer free; he has to work out the results of this initiative. The cusps of the eighth and of the ninth houses show the secondary moments of choice in relation to this matter of partnership. At the former, self-regeneration is possible within the sphere of human relationship; at the latter, self-expansion and broadening of life-perspective. The concept of cusp must be extended in practice to that of "cuspal zone." In some lives, the speed of life-transitions is great and changes come suddenly; in others, the transition is very gradual. As a result, it is difficult to determine the exact dimensions of these cuspal zones. But in most cases they should not encompass more than three or four degrees. Planets located within these zones have a particularly creative significance. They emphasize the element of individual freedom, and characterize, according to their own nature, the nature and potentiality of the free operation of the "I am" in relation to the phase of selfhood represented by the house.
Planets located at the very beginning of a house are "rising," from the point of view of the cusp of this house, and represent initiating impulses. Planets located at the very end of a house represent fulfilling qualities, the gathering-in of the fruits of experience related to a particular phase of selfhood. If within the cuspal zone, these planets indicate that the self will manifest creatively and realize itself powerfully through either the initiating impulse or the fulfilling quality, as the case might be.
This being understood, we can solve the problem of "intercepted signs," that is, the case when a zodiacal sign does not appear on any cusp, but is sandwiched, as it were, inside a house. When a sign does not appear on a cusp, this shows that the individual self of the native does not operate creatively, or does not reach awareness through the life-quality symbolized by that sign. The native, as a spiritual being, does not exercise his freedom by means of the power of that sign; but he exercises it doubly, as it were, by means of the power of the sign which appears on two successive cusps. By "doubly," we mean in relation to two basic phases of his being and destiny.
In other words, great issues do not arise for him positively through the quality represented by the intercepted sign. If, for instance, Aries is intercepted in the tenth house, the impulsive, pioneering quality of Aries is not a life-issue in the native's life. He has no choice as to whether he uses it or not. He does not, as an individual self, express himself through it. What happens is that this Aries quality is, as it were, taken for granted in all tenth-house matters. It can be seen operating in the background of all the public and professional activities of the native — subconsciously or instinctively. This may mean that the Aries quality operates as a psychological "complex." It may have been inhibited; in this case, perhaps because of the father's social position. It may have become the substance of an "inferiority complex;" and this complex drives the native powerfully, yet fatefully and perhaps tragically, toward public achievements.
Thus the Aries quality dominates tenth-house matters; but the domination may in some cases be an almost neurotic one. It is rooted in unconscious factors, factors over which the individual, as an individual, has very little control, and through which he neither gains real awareness nor expresses himself creatively. This may be because, in past lives (if such are believed in) the individual soul has gained from the quality of the intercepted sign all that could be gained — and in this case the quality is built-in in the new personality as an unquestioned instinct. Or else it may be because the personality became formed under an external pressure which inhibited the conscious and harmonious (spiritual) development of the quality, and a "complex" developed.
The outer results will be quite different in each case; yet what can be ascertained astrologically is the fact that there is a certain fatefulness connected with the quality of the intercepted sign — something which is inherent or subconscious, which operates with inevitability, and over which the individual has practically no control. It will be insistent, if not pathological or tragic. It will always mean a sort of disequilibrium, psychologically. But this very disequilibrium may mean a concentration of forces which will drive the native to striking accomplishments. As C. G. Jung often points out, a "complex" is indeed not necessarily "bad." It is often the means whereby the individual rises above the average and the norm. It spurs him on to heights of individual accomplishment —provided a psychological adjustment is effected which is individually significant and steady.
If the quality of the intercepted sign has such a character of unconscious and fateful motivation, on the other hand, the quality of the sign spread over two successive cusps is shown to be one of decisive importance in the conscious and deliberate life of the native. Should, for instance, the sign Leo rule the second and the third houses, matters pertaining to both these houses will be solved by the individual by means of the Leo quality. In dealing with his ancestral possessions, as well as with his close environment, for instance, the native will express himself and find himself through forceful, emotional, self-projective assertion.
We shall study in a later chapter the matter of progressions; but we might say here that whenever the progressed Moon (or Sun) or the "point of Self" passes through an intercepted sign, the rhythm of life (external or internal, respectively) is usually accelerated. The individual faces issues that are deeply rooted in the past and which are compelling. On the other hand, when these moving indices of life-unfoldment pass through spread-out signs, the rhythm of life slows down or becomes freer from compulsion. The individual may seem to take a breathing spell and to go after one type of thing in a quieter and more deliberate way.
Such indications as are given by intercepted and spread-out signs have, of course, to be modified by other, and often more important, indications derived from planetary positions, aspects, etc. But by utilizing all the various elements connected with the cusps the intuitive astrologer may read the spiritual story of the individual in a way which probably cannot be duplicated. It is perhaps for this reason that the exact degree of cusps is so hard to Determine! For the spiritual story of an individual's development should ever remain a deep mystery to the superficial investigator. . .
A. Planetary Aspects
The first condition to a successful grasp of the subject of "aspects" is a real understanding of sphere, circle and circumference.
It has been said that "all forms reach toward the condition of sphere" — that the circle is the perfect form. If, however, form means the defining of the particular out of the universal, then the sphere and circle (according as one chooses to consider three-dimensional or two-dimensional being) are not to be considered as "forms." They are instead the symbols of universal being. But as it would be a grievous mistake to think of universal being as "formless" — in spite of the fact that this is often done — we may extend the concept of form and say that the circle (or the sphere) is the "universal Form," the summation or culmination of the evolutionary series of particular and thus imperfect forms.
It is truly "universal," by etymological derivation, because every point thereof is "turning toward the one," toward the center. For the convenience of our analysis we may describe a circle as the total of an infinite number of infinitely close circumferences having a common center. Thus we are dealing essentially with circumference and center; and the circumference is a curve every point of which is equally distant from a common center. This symbolizes a state of being in which absolute universality of viewpoints is attained; in other words, the Universal Mind, the Perfect Personality, that men have called God. God is not formless, but He is the equilibratedness of all forms, the total harmony or integratedness of all viewpoints. A divine Person is a man who, although operating temporarily within a particular form, yet has so equilibrated his spiritual being that his "body of light" is a perfect sphere of being and understanding. He has reached — not beyond form, but beyond the disequilibrated state that a particular form implies — the condition of "universal Form." In Gnostic philosophy, such a one is called Eon or Sphere. In a sense, of course, he is not only a "one." He is an absolutely centered, integrated, unanimous Host.
But every one of us is a host of lives. It is so in a psychological sense, and the psychological Great Work is that of harmonizing and integrating the "soul-forces." It is so also in an even deeper sense, for our physical body is a host of "lives" — and in the perfected man (the man of the "third birth") the individual draws to himself, as to a center, this host and makes of it, as it were, the substance of this "body of light" — the perfect and radiant Sphere of spirit-substance.
If we now proceed from the universal to the particular, we shall see that birth as a particular personality means establishing linear or angular disequilibrium within the circle or sphere. A particular being is one in whom some elements (or viewpoints) are emphasized, others subdued. He is no longer a "perfectly rounded" individual, but an angular being, with points of stress and concentration of energy, and zones of relative emptiness.
This particularizing of the universal (which means birth) can be symbolized accurately by inscribing a polygon within the circle. There is an infinity of polygons which can be inscribed within a circle, some regular (with sides of equal length), all others irregular. Regular polygons are geometrical figures such as the equilateral triangle, the square, the pentagon, the hexagon, the heptagon, etc. — having respectively 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, etc., sides. If lines are drawn from the center of the circle to the points of the figures, angles are formed at the center. The triangle produces three angles of 120° each; the square, four 90° angles; the pentagon, five 72° angles; the hexagon, six 60° angles, etc.
If, on the other hand, we consider an irregular polygon, such as the one in the adjacent illustration, we find it composed of a number of unequal sides subtending unequal arcs which represent unequal angles.
If one should mark on a circumference the twelve signs of the zodiac, considered archetypally as equal segments of the circular magnetic field surrounding the Earth, and further divide each sign so as to mark the degrees on the circumference; if, moreover, one connected by lines each one of these 360 degree-marks — one would then have a regular polygon with 360 sides. This, symbolically, would represent the perfect form of a being still identified with an Earth-body. He would be a particular being — but one in which every "life-quality" possible on our planet would be equally represented.
The "God" of our planet (what the Theosophist calls the "planetary Logos") would have to be conceived, however, not as such a complete polygon, but as the circumference (or circle) itself, considered as a complete series of arcs, each having a universal significance. This would symbolize the universal quality of His total being. From this standpoint, we can see that the symbols of the degrees of the zodiac are attempts at bridging this gap between the very small side of a 360-side regular polygon and the arc (segment of the circumference), which this line subtends. If we consider such a relation between line and curve at the horizon, we have an interesting symbol.
For we get the figure of a bow, the line of horizon being the arrow shot by an invisible archer. As the line of horizon is a line of self-awareness and intuition, we have a graphic illustration of the eternal effort of man, the archer, shooting at Space — the Universal. His bow is the symbol itself, the taut string of which is the concrete image presented in the symbol, and the curved wood the inner and universal significance of the symbol. The act of shooting is the act of piercing through appearances and reaching the Universal Self, which here becomes space, the circle whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere. This symbol is an ancient one, often found in Hindu philosophy, and embodied also in the symbolism of the zodiacal sign Sagittarius.
In an ordinary birth-chart, if one links by lines the points determined on the ecliptic by the position of the planets, one obtains an irregular polygon with ten sides. This polygon is the "objective form" symbolically characterizing the native's personality — as we use this term. By drawing the radii linking the points of the polygon to the center, the angles are made apparent which separate each planet from the others.(1) Such a polygon is what we have already called the "planetary pattern." The task of the astrologer is to analyze it and to extract its life-significance.
Theoretically speaking, of course every angular value has its particular significance, just as every degree of the zodiac has its particular significance. As the nature of the relationship between two planets is, in this phase of astrological analysis, characterized by the angle separating the zodiacal positions (longitudes) of the two planets, it is evident that an angular distance of 92° is as significant in itself as one of 90°.
However, just as we divide the Earth's orbit (or magnetic field) into only twelve regions which we call "zodiacal signs," likewise, and for equally valid philosophical reasons, we use only, or mostly, for the purpose of form-analysis, the first twelve regular polygons and the angles they generate. That is to say, we assume that there are twelve or even six basic types of form-relationship between life-activities symbolized by the planet and we symbolize these types by the angles produced by dividing the 360 degrees of the total circumference into three, four, five, six — up to twelve parts. Two planets "aspect each other" when they are separated by an angle measuring to such a value: for instance 120°, 90°, 60°, etc. The list, names and characteristics of these aspects will presently follow.
It is, however, necessary to add at once that with regard to "aspects" we face a situation not unlike that which we found while discussing "cusps." In other words, we must extend the concept of "aspect" so as to make it signify not only an exact angular value (90°) but an "angular zone" (such as from 85° to 95°). The exact square-aspect measures to an angular distance of 90°. But two planets are also said to form a square when their angular distance measures to any value between, say, 85° and 95°. This is true of any aspect, especially of the most significant ones.
Yet, for the purpose of a deeper understanding of the factor of planetary relationship or "personality-form," it is obviously necessary to consider not only "angular zones" but each angular value. This, very much for the same reason for which the substance of being is not sufficiently analyzed by the twelve-fold differentiation of the zodiac into signs, but often requires further differentiation.
In his course entitled Pythagorean Astrology, Marc Edmund Jones approached this problem of how to analyze all possible values of angular relationship between planets in a strikingly original and convincing manner. After studying the basic astrological aspects, he went on to analyze the significance of the degree of exactness (or degree of separation) of aspects. If the angular distance between two planets is 85° or 95°, these two planets form a "square;" but the square is not exact. It is a square minus or plus five degrees. If the distance between the planets had been 88° or 93°, the aspect would be a square minus two or plus three degrees.
If, therefore, one should allow for consideration an "angular zone" of, let us say, seven degrees on both sides of exactness of aspect, one would get aspects with a coefficient of inexactness varying from 0 to 7. The value of this coefficient is, according to Marc Jones, most significant, and characterizes the manner in which the aspect itself operates. The matter is too complex to be discussed here; but it was mentioned to show how every angular value can be made significant.
The table of aspects which follows will make the matter clear; for we shall see for instance that a "sextile" represents an angular value of 60°, the "semi-square" of 45°. If one allows a 7-degree zone on each side of the exact values, one will have in fact covered every angular value. For 53° is a sextile "coefficient 7;" and 52° is a semisquare also "coefficient 7." By this method every angular value in whole degrees is given an individual significance.(2)
Names of Aspects Angular Values Characteristic Meaning
Conjunction 0° Activity
Opposition 180° Awareness
Trine 120° Creation
Square 90° Construction
Quintile 72° Artistry
Sextile 60° Production
Septile 51° 26' Fatality
Semi-square 45° Awareness
(and Sesquiquadrate) (and 135°)
Nonagen 40° Creation
Semi-quintile 36° Union
(and Bi-quintile) (and 144°)
One-eleventh 32° 43' Awareness
(and Quincunx) (and 150°) Creation
(Adapted from Marc Jones' Pythagorean Astrology)
Of these aspects the most commonly used are: conjunction, opposition, trine, square, sextile. The semi-sextile is usually considered as a sub-division of the sextile; the semi-square, a subdivision of the square. The quintile is — unfortunately — little used, and septile, nonagen and one-eleventh are practically never found in modern astrological textbooks.
All these aspects are generated by the inscription within a circle of regular polygons — save the conjunction and opposition, which require some special attention. The conjunction is, essentially, the prototype of all particular manifestation, because it stresses the element of activity in a particular or personal way. We might say that the very fact that a planet is located in a degree means that a conjunction is established between the planet and that degree. The degree, of itself, is one among 360 harmonized and integrated phases of universal being. But when a planet comes to that degree in the chart of a particular man, the degree's quality suddenly becomes vivified, energized, emphasized. The harmonious sequence of the 360 degrees becomes therefore disturbed. One of the degrees acquires an accent. Particularity of being is the result of a pattern of accents; whereas in universal being there are no permanent accents no structure-making points of emphasis. It is this fact which has been misconstrued as meaning "formlessness."
In any chart, planets are points of emphasis, accents, releases of energy, sources of activity. The significant quality of the energy released is determined by the symbol of the degree; the type of activity, by the planet. It is this element of activity which becomes the raw material of personality. Activity means stress, tension, disequilibrium. Therefore every planet represents a state of disequilibrium of zodiacal wholeness; just as, to use Goethe's phrase, "colors are the sufferings and joys of the light." The zodiac is the equilibrated cycle of wholeness. Planets introduce disequilibrium, differentiation, sufferings and joys — which mean accents up or accents down.
One planet located within the span of one degree creates an accent. Two planets in this same location may either stress further the accent or blur the directness of the release of energy implied by accentuation. Everything depends: 1) upon the nature of the planets in conjunction; 2) upon the "coefficient of inexactness" of the conjunction. For instance, if two planets of opposite polarities, like Mars and Venus, are conjunct in exactly the same degree, a sort of psychological short-circuit is indicated. A curious kind of self-centeredness and emotional inertia is shown — which can produce an accentuated type of narcissism. But if these two planets are several degrees apart, then, while there is a peculiar sense of self-reliance and often a sort of psychological "hermaphroditism," this contributes to emotional self-control of the type which is found, for instance, in occultists. There is, however, always the suspicion of a "complex" lurking back of every such conjunction of masculine-feminine planets; it lies, in fact, back of every conjunction, especially multiple conjunctions, or "stellium." But it is often through "complexes" of some sort that strong releases of psychic energy are induced; perhaps always so.
A conjunction is a symbol of particular stress which releases activity — at times explosively, as in the case of conjunctions of Mars and Saturn, Uranus and Saturn, etc. It stresses the uniqueness of the particular being, or of the particular activity implied. It does not make for spiritual equilibrium; but it generates momentum of one sort or another. It is a concentrated massing of energy. Whether that energy will be released constructively or destructively, whether even it will be released at all, depends on the nature of the planets, and on the actual distance between the planets said to be "in conjunction."
The aspect of opposition is the opposite of, and the antidote to, the conjunction. Two planets in opposition are located, in terms of zodiacal longitude, exactly in opposite directions from the point of view of the Earth-observer. The latter is therefore, as it were, subjected to two contrary pulls. He may be actually "pulled apart" by the opposition. But also, if the two opposed planets are considered as two poles of a battery, he may be illumined by the spark flowing from pole to pole. This is especially so where the two planets are basically of opposite polarities.
In order to understand oppositions, one has to grasp fully the meaning of polarity. The Ascendant and Descendant, the Zenith and Nadir, in every chart, are points in zodiacal opposition. Consciousness, which is integrated awareness, is the result of such basic oppositions. Again, all depends on whether or not the individual has the power to "reconcile the opposites;" whether he will pull together or be pulled apart. If the former, then his consciousness will expand and objectify itself; if the latter, he will experience psychological confusion and will not be able to know which way to go. And so he will sit and suffer, torn by doubt.
In the opposition, we witness the more or less simultaneous operation of accent and counter-accent. If the aspect is not exact, a quick rhythm is established which can lead to intense objectivity of consciousness, almost absolute awareness. But if the aspect is exact, or if the native has a very slow "speed of reaction," the counter-accent neutralizes the accent. It may mean — nirvana — the absorption of the particular in the universal — and the Buddha is said to have reached nirvana at the full moon of May (Sun-Moon opposition). But it may mean also disintegration, schizophrenia and the like, thus the often nefarious meaning of a lunar eclipse.
Conjunction and opposition can hardly be said to create form; rather, as we have seen, they produce accentuation and counter-accentuation, which are the basic phenomena of the life of the personality. The other aspects will, as it were, distribute the idea of accent or emphasis; and will thus convey the idea of purpose. There will be accentuation or counter-accentuation, tending toward this or that purpose. The purpose itself will be fulfilled if the aspects involve the completion of the polygonal form which is the foundation of the aspect; that is to say, if configurations named "Grand trine" and "Great Cross" — or the very rare "Great quintile" and "Grand sextile" — are formed, as we shall see later on.
What is meant will be easily grasped if we realize that the polygonal forms with which we ordinarily deal in astrology are based either on the triangle or on the square. Trine, sextile, semisextile (and quincunx) are essentially triangular; square and semisquare (and sesquiquadrate) are quadrangular. The first series is usually considered "fortunate;" the second "unfortunate." But such an ethical valuation, which finds its full meaning in "horary astrology," is almost out of place in the type of astrology which we are more particularly studying. In its stead we shall use another classification of meanings, and say that the triangular series deals with the various stages of creative ideation (in-"formation"), while the quadrangular series deals with the insubstantiation of forms.
These terms may sound formidable, but they are simple enough. The trine is an aspect of "vision" and "perspective." It refers to the birth of ideas or viewpoints, to the initial phase of a new plan and a new purpose. The conjunction is emphasis. As this emphasis begins to operate it takes form as an idea, a project, a new interest for the personality to flow into creatively. At a further stage, the sextile brings forth the project or idea to a point where it is seen actually at work within the warp and woof of personality. Still further, the semi-sextile shows the idea decomposed into its polar elements and correlated with the routine of everyday activity.
If we now consider the quadrangular series, we see in the square the power that forces the abstract idea to become a concrete body. It is the power of incarnation, of birthing. It is indeed crucifixion, from the spirit's viewpoint. From the point of view of substance, it means getting the stones out of the quarry and building them into the perpendicular walls of the future building. The general keynote is mobilization. The semi-square symbolizes the first realization of the self after its being encased in substance. It can be a very depressing realization; but it can also be the first realization of power, for power necessitates some kind of insubstantiation. The semi-square is thus an aspect of power for the soul who understands the laws of life and of power. But it is an aspect of despair and great loneliness for the soul which regrets its spiritual "freedom." If the square signifies "mobilization," the semi-square has the meaning of "action" in the military sense of this term. The individual is in the service of collective purposes.
There is, however, another series which is also important: the series of quintile, semi-quintile and semi-semi-quintile (18 degrees). This series deals with the operation of the individual factor per se; and as such is very little understood. It is based on a fivefold differentiation, and integrates, as it were, the two preceding series. When two planets are in quintile aspect, the relation between these two planets is seen to release a particular value of individual significance. From quintiles the genius of an individual can be to some extent determined. In between the square (90°) and the sextile (60°), the quintile (72°) shows the creative freedom of the individual in molding materials into forms that are true to the idea they are meant to express. There is found the "individual touch" of the genius which transforms a routine action into an inspiring, significance-releasing performance. The semi-quintile refers more particularly to the technique of the performance. Its half (18°) suggests the point where mere accentuation (conjunction) orients itself toward significant performance: the imponderable factors of talent.
The septile is significant only in a planetary sense. It is, we may remember, the division of the "Great Polar Cycle." Through the septile we may see, in rare instances, an overshadowing of planetary purpose — truly, as Marc Jones says, fatality at work. As for the nonagen, its importance may be revealed in an age in which the number 9 is coming to increased significance — as evidenced by the fact that it is the sacred number of Bahaism, and the number on which Bahai temples are to be founded. We spoke before of the meaning of the number 40. The relationship between two planets forty degrees apart may indicate spiritual birth or initiation in the realm to which the planets refer. It signifies "birth out of captivity."
All these aspects have been taken, as it were, from the point of conjunction. But some of them can be taken also from the opposition. That is to say, a sesquiquadrate aspect (135°) is an opposition (180°) less a semi-square (45°). A quincunx (150°) is an opposition less a semi-sextile (30°), etc. In those secondary aspects we see the operation of "counter-accent." They indicate, in subtle analysis, the reaction to personal activity: the residua of activity. They may also refer to the "turning back" of activity upon its source: inner sublimation, spiritual transmutation. The so-called bi-quintile (144°) can also be considered as an opposition less a semi-quintile (36°). Here may be seen at work the technique of creative introversion. But, negatively speaking, this may also suggest certain types of obsessions, a "complex" creating its hallucinations.
Again let us repeat that no aspect is fortunate or unfortunate. Each may be seen as a positive or a negative phase of the personality(3) What is more important still, no single aspect is of any real significance unless it be seen as an integral part of the total planetary pattern. We have to analyze, first, each aspect separately, in order to get our basic elements for synthetic realization. But this is merely the preliminary phase of the acquisition of a technique of interpretation. The true interpreter reads the planetary pattern as a reader reads a word or a sentence. Only the beginner keeps spelling the letters one by one.
B. The Planetary Pattern as a Whole
Here we deal not only with the elementary relationship between two planets but with relationships that involve the whole personality, that focus the meaning of the whole personality. When a person is met for the first time, the intuitive individual gets at once a general, synthetic "feeling" from such a meeting. The wholeness of him reacts to the wholeness of the other person. This is what we previously called "holistic perception." If such a perception is very keen, it will often single out one or two basic characteristics which, as it were, focalize the "feeling" aroused by the person. Some of the features of this person's total personality will stand out as centers of significance. Significance will organize itself around these centers. Through the latter the person will be classified into one of a few general types, and such a classification will center and clarify the general "feeling."
The determination of centers of significance, of what Marc Jones calls "focal determinators," is the first and most important factor in the interpretation of a birth-chart, if such an interpretation is to reveal truly the wholeness, the livingness, of the personality — and not be merely pieced-together fragmentary information about the behavior of the person. It is not only the most important but the most difficult factor. Each individual interpreter must more or less develop his own technique of "focal determination" — according to the genius which his own chart may reveal. Besides, only he who is (relatively) whole can have correct holistic perceptions; and in order to determine centers of significance one must needs be also a center of significance.
There are, however, a few general principles of "focal determination" which can be stated, for they are after all only extensions of well-known astrological factors upon which the very symbolism of zodiac, houses and aspects is founded. To understand these is to understand "form," or "Gestalt" — in terms of modern psychology; it is to grasp the genius of "groupings" and of "patterns of behavior." Just as, according to new methods of learning how to read, the child is no longer taught to spell letter after letter, but instead to recognize at once groups of letters and word-formations, so also the astrologer who seeks to learn how to fathom the livingness of the personality which the chart symbolizes should train himself in the instantaneous recognition of basic planetary and zodiacal formations. Tabulation of factors is helpful in checking results and getting to a finer degree of analysis. But holistic perception draws the whole and its parts to a center of significance and of livingness. It reveals the "soul" of the situation, the power that animates the whole — the wholeness of the whole, the spirit-energy within the form.
The first and simplest determination of the total meaning of the planetary pattern is made when the planets are distributed in specific ways through the four quarters of the chart; that is, in relation to the "axes of selfhood" — horizon and meridian. For the sake of simplicity and brevity, we shall enunciate, one after the other, the general (very general!) meaning to be attributed to the basic configurations which one may encounter.
All planets above the horizon: "The native necessarily lives out in life" or "finds the focus of his own inner consciousness wholly in external events." (Marc Jones.) A tendency to extraversion and to adopt an objective — often materialistic — viewpoint. (Cf. Queen Victoria's and Mussolini's charts.)
All planets below the horizon: "The native lives within himself or in more subjective realms" or "finds the focus of his own inner consciousness within internal reactions." (Marc Jones.) A tendency to introversion. An intuitive type.
All planets East or West of the meridian: "The zenith meridian divides the universe (all experience) into realms of rising things (East) and setting things (West). . . If all planets are East the native is called upon to make his own choice in every issue, and to create the issue at will; whereas if West he must accept the choices and issues of life as these are placed before him." (Marc Jones.) This is a division of "outer volition." Usually an exclusively Eastern preponderance indicates an accent on thinking — for thought is the element of (relative) freewill; while an exclusively Western preponderance indicates a feeling-emphasis, for feelings are almost purely determined by the external conditioning of the relation between subject and subject, or between subject and object.
Moreover, all planets may be found in one of the four quarters. This is rare, but produces a still more absolute emphasis on one of the four functions of individual selfhood: intuition (North-east quarter), feeling (North-west quarter), sensation or relationship (South-west quarter), thinking (South-east quarter).
In considering such matters two important ideas must be held in mind. The first one is that no definite conclusions can be drawn from the fact that no planets are found in a house. The absence of accentuation does not mean a negative emphasis. Wholeness is always to be understood as the basis of any organic being; therefore it is always implied in the absence of any particular emphasis. This absence of emphasis may mean the previous fulfillment of the quality represented by the non-emphasized house or sign; or it may mean a virgin state of non-differentiation. It always refers to an unconscious state, rather than to a conscious one. But health is unconscious, until it is experienced by the sick person as the absence of illness. Likewise unconsciousness may be most potent as a background of psychological health. Again let us repeat that God, or Universal Being, may be said to be beyond any planetary accentuations, because every "degree" of the wholeness of universal being is accentuated equally. Man only has "planets" because he is a particular being. God has none — figuratively speaking, of course.
The second point refers to what Marc Jones calls “balance in weight,” a matter which fits in perfectly with the principles of Gestalt psychology. If nine planets are found in one hemisphere and the tenth in the other hemisphere, this tenth stands out powerfully, from a form point of view. A pattern is constituted in which one planet, because of its position, is seen balancing the nine others. It becomes an absolutely “outstanding” factor; and, to a considerable extent, destroys the implication of all the other planetary factors in the other hemisphere. Marc Jones compares this formally isolated planet (“singleton”) to an aching tooth which dominates the whole consciousness. It is a type of accentuation which is “irrational,” which tends to destroy the sense of wholeness of the personality. It is an autocratic factor dictating its singular will to the rest of the organism, which by contrast appears inchoate.
As an interesting illustration, we have Mussolini's chart which shows a dual type of form-emphasis. All his planets are above the horizon. Moreover, Uranus stands alone in the eastern hemisphere - more precisely, in the South-east quarter. The mass-emphasis is in the section of the chart which deals with human relationship and denotes self-realization through human contacts and objective being. He is seen to accept the choices and issues of life as these are placed before him: a man ruled by his objective destiny. But, while this is true in a fundamental sense, Uranus, accentuated as a "singleton by house position," indicates that there is a powerful and insistent release of unconscious factors operating as subjective volition (Eastern hemisphere), and moreover, that the operation is through a mechanism of sudden thinking (South-east quarter). The latter fact is corroborated by: 1) a planetary concentration in zodiacal signs of concrete thinking (Gemini and Virgo) or of vivid image-making power (Venus-Jupiter conjunction in Cancer, in the house of "vision"); 2) the fact that the Moon's North Node is in the twelfth house, implying power released through meditation or subjective introspection.
This last fact, and the power of unconscious racial factors in Mussolini's life, are further emphasized by the massing of all the planets inside of an exact trine of Neptune and Uranus (planets of the unconscious). The total configuration is balanced, as it were, each side of the Jupiter-Venus conjunction which is sextile to both Uranus and Neptune. This, however, belongs to another type of emphasis to which we shall come presently. At present, we have yet to stress the point of the placing of all the planets in the southern hemisphere. This is a basic accentuation of collective or objective factors — so that however much Uranus might suggest the operation of an interior self-conditioned will or power, yet this will is seen operating solely in terms of collective factors. Even while his "part of imaging" (his release of genius) is located below the horizon, yet it is in the second house referring to racial inheritance and atavistic possessions — a collective factor, though within the individual realm.
Another type of emphasis is produced by the placing of all planets in the four basic divisions of the zodiac.
All planets between Aries and Libra (in the order of the signs): This indicates that the "principal responsibility of the life is spiritual" (Marc Jones) — or, we would rather say, it refers to the projection of ideas and archetypes into objective manifestation. Mussolini is an amazingly strong example of this type of emphasis — whether one likes, or does not, the type of ideas which he projects.
All planets between Libra and Aries: This indicates that "the principal responsibility of the life is material" (Marc Jones) — or rather, it refers to the development of faculties which are the outcome of previous spiritual activity and the matrix of future manifestations.
All planets in signs of long ascension (from Cancer up to Capricorn): "The inner life is lived to make itself manifest to the outer life." (Marc Jones.) This is the period when the Sun moves southward. What has been gained during the other half of the year is brought out into objectivity. The soul comes into manifestation.
All planets in signs of short ascension (from Capricorn up to Cancer): "The inner life is lived to make outer life manifest to itself." (Marc Jones.) This is the period when the Sun moves northward: traditionally, a period of spiritual growth and inner realizations. The fruits of objective experience are garnered and there is an inward maturing process, the growth of significance.
Here also one could apply the principle of singleton emphasis, a planet in one section of the zodiac balancing all others in the opposite section. We should add, moreover, that by changing the words "all planets" into "most planets" one could still get at a less strong, yet noticeable, preponderance of values.
Whether the circle of houses or that of zodiacal signs is considered, what is done actually is a quartering of the whole cycle by establishing two axes at right angles to each other. Such an operation is related to the determination of square aspects. It deals with the establishment of a structure of manifestation, the prototype of which is, of course, the "four seasons of the year." One could attempt the same thing with any one of the axes provided by astrological symbolism — especially with the nodal axes of the planets. We saw previously that the Moon's nodal axis could be considered as establishing a "line of Destiny" between the past and the future (the karma and dharma) of an individual. Thus the hemisphere counted from the North Node (counter-clockwise) refers to the power of developing new spiritual faculties, whereas the hemisphere counted from the South Node refers to the working out of past tendencies.
In Mussolini's chart, all planets are in the hemisphere counted from the South Node, which gives a striking testimony — which might astonish many. The Italian dictator is shown as doing in this life what he presumably had done in several preceding lives — or, to state it differently, as being the last of a long ancestral line of similar figures. In this sense, he may be said to be a replica of the Caesar-image: a restatement of an old racial formula, which thus adds nothing spiritually new, but is a culmination of racial karma — of individual karma also, according to the theory of reincarnation.
This same procedure could be followed by considering the nodal axes of the planets; but the results require too subtle an interpretation to be of practical importance. Mussolini's chart again offers interesting possibilities of interpretation along the line of planetary nodes' analysis, as at least five of his planets are situated on the North Nodes of other planets. This would tend to show that his personality is a pattern drawn according to an inner super-personal plan. We might call him a "racial avatar," with tremendous psychic race-forces back of him. This is suggested by the symbol of the Sun-degree.
Another type of zodiacal emphasis is provided by the unequal distribution of planets: 1) in fire, air, water, earth signs; 2) in cardinal, fixed or mutable signs. This is a type of emphasis very often found in modern astrological practice. It seems to have little significance, however, unless the inequality of distribution is very great. A most definite preponderance of planets in one type of zodiacal signs is needed, if significant conclusions are to be arrived at. We must refer to our analysis of the meaning of zodiacal categories. A planetary emphasis in any category will bring out the meaning and power of that category in the life of the native.
So far we have studied planetary formations which were determined by reference: 1) to the circle of houses; 2) to the circle of zodiacal signs. The first refers basically to the individual's character and destiny; the second, to the collective factors of his being. By considering the "patterns of aspects" made by the planets, we have another type of form-determination which refers mostly to the personality itself. What we are dealing with now is an extension of the principle of "aspect." The following are aspects involving several planets; in other words, planetary groupings. Their names and a brief description follows:
Stellium. This is a multiple conjunction; a complex accentuation which involves more than two planets located in a small area. There is a stellium by house, when a mass of planets (at least four or five) are found inside of one house; a stellium by sign, when the same number are located in one sign, or in half of a sign. Here, as in the simple conjunction, much depends on what the planets are, and how distant they are from each other. The result is often confusion and personal involvement in the qualities represented by house or sign. The planetary accents blur each other.
What stands out is the quality represented by house or sign, rather than the activity symbolized by the several planets.
Fan-handle. This magnified type of opposition occurs when a singleton opposes a stellium; that is, when one planet, alone in a hemisphere, opposes all other planets in the opposite hemisphere. According to Marc Jones, "the singleton contributes to the stellium and throws the emphasis back into the hemisphere containing the other planets. The stellium emphasis becomes a psychological or inner burden of manifestation. It indicates a soul with a more-than-physical problem." The meaning of the emphasized sign (rather than house) becomes the outstanding factor. The twentieth century opened with a most characteristic stellium, opposing Neptune to all other (then known) planets. To add to the meaning of this configuration, it was balanced exactly on the Moon's nodes axis. Placing Pluto on the map detracts from the one-pointedness of the configuration, as this planet was close to Neptune. Yet, as Neptune and Pluto both refer to universalistic factors, and as the configuration is so striking, it can still profitably be considered as a fan — with a forked handle!
Grand Trine. In this and the following multiple aspects we are confronted with the perfect manifestation of single aspects. We saw that a trine was produced by inscribing an equilateral triangle in the circumference; a square, by inscribing a square, etc. We are now considering configurations in which a planet (or several planets) are found located at each of the angles of the inscribed polygon.
A Grand Trine is thus a figure in which three planets are mutually related by 120° angles. Some astrologers have considered such a configuration very favorable, others unfavorable. That it should be deemed unfavorable when the trine is always taken as the most harmonious aspect does not seem very logical. Yet there is some truth in the assertion, when we are confronted with an exact triangular formation; for when some of the most important activities of the personality are symbolically so related, they are so well equilibrated or "formed" that there is very little incentive for outward manifestation and creation. The Grand Trine is thus, especially when a very exact formation, a symbol of, at least relative spiritual inertia. If, however, one of the planets (or groups of planets) entering into this configuration forms a square aspect to another planet, then this square acts as a "channel of release" for the energies locked in the Grand Trine.
Usually the Grand Trine produces an emphasis on one of the four zodiacal qualities (fire, air, water, earth) as it links normally the three signs referring to the same quality. Yet this need not be so, if the planets are located near the cusps. Therefore the Grand Trine cannot be said to have any particular significance because of that. If it does link, let us say, three fire signs, then the implication is that the "fire" quality ("motion toward objective manifestation" or "emanation") is thoroughly formed within the native's being.
Great (or Cosmic) Cross. This configuration is established by four planets (or groups of planets) in mutual 90° relationship. It is to be considered as establishing the "perfect cube," or "perfect stone" of Masonic lore. It symbolizes the total embodiment of the idea, or purpose, or self, in other words, fulfillment in objective and concrete existence. In a negative sense, what is meant is crystallization and spiritual bondage in matter.
The most usual way in which a multiple square is found is, however, as a T configuration. The square figure is not complete. Instead of the four-armed cross, we have an Egyptian Tau, or by implication, an ansated cross — which, of course, is the hieroglyph of a man with arms horizontally stretched out. In a birth-chart with such a configuration there is an empty house (or sign) where the man's head would be. What is indicated is the utmost release of spirit or purpose toward material existence. This is a highly dynamic configuration. The three arms of the cross throw a dynamic emphasis into the empty house, which often is, as it were, occupied by a whirlpool. In the phase of individual selfhood and destiny represented by the empty house the native finds himself usually helpless, torn by raging conflicts. Only the very strong and conscious ego is able to master such a dissonant release of power. If he does, then an amazing amount of creative energy is his.
The perfection of more complex polygonal formations, like the quintile and the sextile, is a rare phenomenon. But sometimes three planets are in mutual quintile aspect — or rather three of them constitute two quintiles, and the outer two are related by triquintile aspect (216°) — a very creative linkage between the three types of activities symbolized by the planets, with the suggestion that what is being created is a spiritual faculty, which very likely may not be evident in the outer life.
A complete hexagonal formation (Grand Sextile) is even rarer; but often three planets are in correlated sextile — the outermost constituting a trine equally divided by the middle one. This is what is seen so strikingly in Mussolini's chart, with the added emphasis due to the fact that all planets are located within the trine of Uranus and Neptune (bisected by the conjunction Venus-Jupiter). This particular configuration tends to show that the entire personality is a "formation of the race's unconscious," governed by the conscious. The Jupiter-Venus conjunction at the center of the configuration indicates the point of emergence of the formative power of the collective unconscious in terms of consciousness. Being in the ninth house, this power is not only formative but expansive. The conjunction Jupiter-Venus shows it to be of an idealistic order. Being in Cancer, the ideal will project itself with clearly imaged outlines. Jupiter is situated in a degree (Cancer 19°) which symbolizes "the inner adjustment of values by the unconscious processes of nature, taking the best of the old for the inspiration of the new." (Marc Jones)
A complete hexagonal configuration occurred on July 15, 1935, with Uranus in Taurus; Mercury, Sun and Pluto in Cancer; Venus and Neptune in Virgo; Jupiter in Scorpio; Moon in Capricorn; and Saturn in Pisces — linking all "feminine" signs of the zodiac. This was a configuration highly productive for work and especially for detailed planning in terms of practical sustained activity. Children born at such a time should prove to be skillful organizers — especially as the square of Sun and Mars was at the same time releasing the power which otherwise might have remained in a static condition of self-enjoyment and esthetical self-indulgence.
A configuration of the same type is that in which four planets constitute alternately sextiles and trines. A rectangle is formed whose geometrical proportions suggest a mystical significance. In the chart of the wife of one of the greatest living painters Uranus in Virgo 8°, Moon in Scorpio 6°, Jupiter in Pisces 4°, Neptune in Taurus 12° constitute such a configuration. Uranus is sextile to the Moon and trine Neptune, which is sextile to Jupiter in trine to the Moon. This is an interesting combination of trines, sextiles — and of course, two oppositions. A good symbol of "practical mysticism." This person has been a remarkable force of sustainment to her husband, in inner as well as in outer ways, combining spiritual awareness, outer productivity and purposeful planning.
In all such definite planetary patterning we may always suspect equally definite problems in the sphere of personality. Either these problems are the manifestation of psychological complexes which tend to make the personality "different" and often socially unadapted, or else the personality carries a burden of super-personal (planetary) responsibility demanding a strict focalization and particularization of viewpoint. Mussolini's chart is the most typical of the latter case which has come to our attention. It is an over-focalized chart. The man is alive solely to serve a racial purpose and will die in that purpose.
On the other hand, a chart without any outstanding focalization may mean either a scattered personality or a being whose destiny it is to link, to harmonize, and to be a symbol of wholeness of being. This of course is the mark of a true individual — one approximating the likeness of the perfect Individual that is God, the equally all-accentuated Being. A Mussolini is not an individual, but is a racial purpose made personality. He is a most particularized or specialized being: the man of a collective work. This is made clear by every possible factor in his chart, even to the position of the South Node (karma point) in the sixth house (of service, work and discipleship to ideal or personality) and on a degree "of real capitalization upon tradition and established value." (The woman of Samaria comes to draw from Jacob's well.)
1. One might ask what a polygon which could not be inscribed in a circle would signify as a particular form. It would be a form which is not "organic;" that is, in which the principle of wholeness (circularness) could not operate and integrate the separate parts. This occurs symbolically in cases of schizophrenia, of multiple personalities, of insanity — and of suicide. The hand of the man who shoots himself is guided by one of the soul-energies which, because of internal disharmony or external compulsion, has bulged, as it were, outside of the circle of wholeness of the psyche. In this sense, every suicide is partially insane. "He" does not kill himself; but one of his "soul-forces" that has burst outside of the sacred circle of the self pulls the trigger. Another word describing the process is, of course, "obsession."
2. The reader may notice that the first aspect after the conjunction, considering angular distance, is the semi-sextile — or 30°. Even if we allow ten or more degrees "orb" for a conjunction, there are still several angular values unaccounted for. In subtle analysis the half of semi-quintile (18°), and even semi-sextile (15°), can be taken into consideration. But the main idea is that no aspect of practical significance occurs until two planets are separated by a whole zodiacal sign (30°). Actually, if the planets are located in two different signs, there may be "aspects" of less than thirty degrees. But they are ordinarily unnoticed.
3. In horary astrology, or in the matter of casting charts from lunations, ingresses, etc., for general prognostications, "personality" becomes "the particular situation and problem considered." These, not being actual organisms, do not react to or compensate for special stresses or accents. In such cases, the quadrangular series of aspects means a breaking down of factors, while the triangular series is an integrating of values. Thus one is considered good, the other evil. But where there is true organic being, these ethical terms become subservient to the purposes of the whole organism.
The Astrology of Personality