This paper illustrates three common, powerful astrological conditions shared by individuals in a nuclear family, named herein Family A, of seven individuals. Two of the conditions illustrate passing on of planetary aspects (called sets here). The third involves an analysis of moons, analyzing their signs, the meaning suggested by their order of appearance, and implications when shared and un-shared by other family members. Each condition represents emotional, psychological, and perhaps even spiritual traits. Each involves copying a set from one or both of the parent’s charts. One definitely has implications about physical health and longevity.
Readers might well exclaim, “Well, of course there is emotional inheritance! After all, parents are--wittingly or unwittingly--models for their children! It appears true they are. However, with this method, in this paper we will see that parents pass on distinct, meaningful astrology to their children. In that sense, children who carry their parents astrological sets have, so to speak, duplicated traits of their parents.
Through duplication genetic inheritance occurs. Here we see duplication from one generation to the next. It cannot be altogether exact duplication because of the amount of time it takes planets to revolve through one cycle.
According to Ridpath (cited below in Bibliography), the time it takes each planet to move through one cycle is as follows:
|Time It Takes to Cycle|
|Planet||Once Around Sun|
|Moon||27.32 days (from new moon to new moon, cycling around the Earth)|
(*Of course, this is the cycle of the earth around the sun. But unless one is doing heliocentric astrology, the sun--just as our perception confirms--is viewed as orbiting the earth. That is how we get different sun signs--the “sun” of our astrology is in the sign opposite the one the earth is in.)
But, even the term “cycle” is misleading, implying as it does that the planets circle the sun. Last I heard, they were still orbiting the sun in elliptical fashion, meaning they are moving faster at some places than others.
In addition, the constellations from which astrological signs are taken are--unlike the signs which are each 30° long--not at all the same size.
The thrust of the above discussion is by way of illustrating that it would be possible for parents and children to share planets in the same sign up through jupiter. Sometimes, they even share saturn in the same sign, but not degree, if the parent started with his/her saturn early in the sign, and his children are born before he is around 29 years old.
Not being space-capable, I do not at all understand the astronomy of it, but in astrology mercury and venus are always relatively near the sun. I think the farthest venus gets away from the sun is around 48°. But their differing orbital speeds means they would rarely be in exactly the same position relative to each other. (I am sure some one has worked these figures out, I just do not know them.) So, it is possible, but it does not happen often, for parent and child to share, for instance, the sun or mercury or venus in the same sign near the same degrees, but far less likely they would share all three in the same degree at the same time.
It is likely parent and child will share the outer planets in the same sign, but of course, not the same degree.
A child born to a 23-year-old-plus parent could have his jupiter in the same sign and degree as the parent.
A parent who has each of his children every 687 days (cycle of mars) could, theoretically, have offspring who all had mars in the same sign and degree as his own.
But, since the earth is moving all the time, it changes signs--which we see as the sun changing signs. We do not actually perceive that the planets are moving "forward" (direct) through the signs. Sometimes it looks like they are moving backward. So, we have the area in astrology which sees planets as “retrograde” for that period of time, that is, they appear to be moving backwards. They are not actually moving backward, they just look like they are from our vantage point.
With this method, which uses harmonics in the development of each of the houses of the chart, many more relationships are possible. Mercury can be opposite the sun if one of them is harmonic, but never if neither are harmonic. Any planet can be conjunct its own harmonic. And so on.
So, with harmonics "aberrations of nature" are possible. However, in addressing the first shared set below--sun in the same set with pluto--the only planets used were birth and conception. Harmonics were not used. I cannot, however, tell here the statistical probability that, as happened, the Father and four of his five children would share sun/pluto in close sets. I doubt it is great because it depends on a sun for successive children coming out near--by conjunction, square, or opposition--pluto as it is continuously moving through the sign it is in.
Since I cannot address the statistical issue, I suggest reading this paper for its inherent interest, which in my opinion increases right up to its culmination in analysis of the dynamics of Family A through distribution of moons signs among parents and children.
I do not have birth data for the four grandparents of Family A. It would also have been interesting to have had the charts of the eight great-grandparents. Did the sets in this family--some quite strong--occur sui generis with the parents, or are they themes occurring regularly, sometimes skipping a generation? Once developed, how long will they continue to pass through generations?. What are the laws of this kind of transmission? Do some charts, like the 1st and 6th, carry more physical information, e.g., information we recognize are hereditary? Do some charts, like the 3rd and 7th, carry more psychological information, e.g., interests, proclivities, and talents as well as mental disabilities? Or do all these carry “hereditary” information? Is our present definition of hereditary too narrow, locating us in the foothills of mountains not yet even perceived?
Duplication of sets allows us to see which parent--none, one, or both--passed on his set. From these, we can put together a theory, a little story, a kind of exoskeleton raised from the dead, about the past dynamics of Family A many years ago when the children were still young.
I have not systematically analyzed charts of whole families before. So I was surprised to discover that the order of appearance in the children of shared and un-shared astrology--moons in this case--has meaning which contributes considerably to the family’s story.
Before introducing Family A’s astrology, I want to say a few words about this method:
(1) This astrology uses the sidereal positions of the planets based on the use of Fagan-Bradley’s SVP.
(2) Harmonics are taken from the sidereal position of the planets. The Egyptian harmonic, discussed in the paper “About This Method,” is used.
(3) This method uses only conjunctions, applying and separating squares, and oppositions. Planets so related are said to be together in a “set” So, set as I use it is similar to “aspect” as it is used in traditional astrology, but sets contain planets only in conjunction, square, and/or opposition. The orbs for planets in sets with lights is 5°; without lights, about 2.5°. Orb for MC (Midheaven)/planet or Asc (Ascendant)/planet is 2°. Birth planets (including their harmonics) rule only birth houses. If the planets exceed these orbs, they are no long considered in the set. Conception planets (including their harmonics) rule only conception houses.
For a more thorough explanation of this astrological approach, refer to “About This Method” and "Chart Reading Rules." Here are their links Empirically-Derived Principles of Chart Delineation and About This Method. The paper which discusses the practical differences between sidereal (Eastern) astrology and tropical (Western) can be found at Sidereal vs. Tropical Astrology--A Discussion. The present trend--at least publicly among astrologers of the West--has been to hold that tropical and sidereal astrology both "work." This is something I do not agree with and discuss in the paper.
The first condition to be examined in Family A contains the sun and pluto. Before showing its table of occurrences, we should explore meaning attributed to those two planets.
One definition of the sun comes from the book, Horoscope Symbols (cited below), of astrologer Rob Hand:
”One of the most important points in the chart, the Sun represents the energy that enables everything else to exist. It is the basic energy of Being. Just as the physical sun shines and enables all the other bodies to shine by reflecting light, so the symbolic astrological Sun is the basic energy of which all the other planetary energies are specialized reflections.” (page 47. He writes much more than this about the sun, but this is all we need here.)
I associate the sun with the individual’s essence, his authentic core self--the real bit of life he came here with, which is another way of saying what Hand said. An individual owns, that is, truly possesses and is comfortable with the qualities of the sign his sun is in. For instance, if a Leo, he knows how to and does act like a genuine Leo. He is not mimicking Leo, which moon in Leo does. He does not have the exaggerated sense of self-importance that moon in Leo can have. He does not have to have praise from others. He does not need an audience of appreciators to feel alive. The individual with the Leo sun is quietly but confidently at the center of his own universe. He makes his decisions and sees his life from that perspective. (See footnote 1, at the bottom of this page.)
I have written extensively on pluto in my paper on autism posted on this site. Here is its link: The Astrology of Autism
In addition to what I wrote, there are many interpretations for pluto based on dissection of the myths about Pluto, god of the underworld. But, astrologers do not just get their information on planets based only on qualities of their heroic or villainous namesakes in myth. Astrologers also spend years observing planets in charts and in transit.
All astrologers’ definitions for pluto involve the word “transformations.” Most have correlated pluto’s domain with that of the unconscious, undercover, underground, underworld, underhanded, hidden, and so on. The laws that govern the unconscious are very different from those that govern our conscious thinking. Therefore, when the two are dynamically intertwined in an individual, he may appear to others to be mysterious and powerful. In fact, he may be out of control, or more precisely, his life may be more under the control of his unconscious than his conscious mind. He would not, of course, know that. That is why his behavior is called “unconscious.” He could have an conscious story to explain his behavior which had no apparent connection to his unconscious motivations.
I differ from traditional astrology in that I dislike the use of the term “powerful” when used with plutonian individuals. Transformations are, indeed, powerful, but they are not controlled. I reserve powerful for the mature aspect of Capricorn, where power comes from control. It may not look as powerful as the “power” of plutonian upheaval, but it builds most of our world.
Another common expression astrologer’s apply to sun/pluto is, “the individual will have to regenerate himself.” I spent years puzzling over the meaning of that sentence. Perhaps it is better stated, “he will have to generate himself.” The unconscious forces exerted by pluto against the growth of essence (the sun), depending on education, other-assistance, willingness, and many other factors--take years to erupt to the surface enough to be seen by the conscious mind (footnote 2). An obvious first stage occurs around age thirty, when solar arc sun forms a trine (footnote 3) to the original pluto, setting off the original square. But at that early an age the individual is still too young, really. His life is still more potential than actuality. At thirty he knows very little about the dark (unconscious) side of himself. Another, far stronger stage, apparently occurs in his sixties, with the next 30° of solar arc again setting off his original square. At that point, conclusions about his life are impossible to avoid. Then the plutonian upheavals can begin in earnest.
I should add, even though in myth Pluto is male, pluto’s influence in charts appears to come more from women. I associate pluto on an Angle with an over-bearing or overwhelming mother. Also with a crazy, therefore unpredictable, therefore overwhelming mother. This association in me of pluto with women might be correct. It might not be. Women as mothers have unique opportunity to be overwhelming because the babies in their care start out with no mind and with no defenses. And, as I understand it, that is precisely when most of our unconscious factors are formed. I suspect pluto’s main tools for forcing conscious life underground are guilt, and especially, shame. We are all somewhat aware of it when we are experiencing guilt. But I have noticed people will go to unbelievable lengths to avoid experiencing shame. Vis-à-vis the unconscious, to avoid re-experiencing shame.
Smothering mothers also produce plutonian children, but for the child, smothering is another version of overwhelming.
Can a male be plutonian? Of course he can. He can be enigmatic, subversive, secretive, non-explainable. He might engage in underworld activities, or do underground work (physical and mental), and so on. The question is, what made him plutonian?
For now, for further description of pluto’s qualities, I add again from Hand’s Horoscope Symbols:
”As the outermost planet, Pluto symbolizes the end of the process Uranus began: that of breaking down the reality structure of normal consciousness. If Uranus breaches the normal reality structure and Neptune exposes us to the ultimately real, then Pluto symbolizes the radical transformation of consciousness and being that must result. Pluto is the archetype of death and resurrection: it breaks down the old and outworn entities into their component parts, and then reassembles them into new being.”
”...Pluto may be experienced by people of any level of consciousness...it operates with extreme power, and, being a force beyond the ego, when it manifests it usually causes one to feel out of control. While Uranus interrupts normal reality and Neptune confuses ordinary reality by exposing one to other realities, Pluto can symbolize a complete breakdown in ordinary reality. Such a breakdown forces one not only to deal with an alternate reality, but even to build a new day-to-day reality out of it.” (page 79 of Horoscope Symbols.)
What happens when sun and pluto are paired together?
Sun Plus Pluto
With this method, if one planet in a set expresses, all the planets in that set are activated and must also express. They can express together. They can also express sequentially, but the set links them, so they cannot be divorced from each other. Their energies can be refined--that is, the individual can mature in his ability to handle them and even displace them--but not separated. They are linked for the lifetime of the individual.
Planets in the same set with the sun represent conditions put on essence. When the individual experiences his essence, that is, his sun, he also experiences energies of planets linked to it. If the planet with the sun is a benefic like venus or jupiter, his experience of his essence (sun) brings pleasure--beauty and appreciation with venus: expansion and growth, with jupiter. Appreciation from others usually accompanies both. If the planets with the sun are malefics, like mars or saturn, his essence experience is often combined with pain--agitation and aggression with mars: constriction and limitation with saturn. Condemnation or rejection from others often accompanies both.
Any planet qualifying the sun, then, has a major impact on the individual’s growth and learning capacity. Each planet allows, encourages, or limits his ability to witness, to assimilate the new, and to grow.
The sun with pluto indicates the individual’s experience of his essence (sun) is restricted by unconscious forces (pluto) often planted there through experience with the mother. Hedged in, and at some deep level aware he is, but not why, he projects the message “don’t fence me in” because he is already fenced in. It is an aggressive, but defensive, stance.
I do not know...I suspect that homeostasis applies to many levels of human existence, not just physiology. The desire for wholeness, for the truth with which reality may be changed eventually makes our sun/pluto individual aware of two facts which can, in time, lead to his healing crises. First, so far he has not achieved vital living. Second, something (his unconscious beliefs) not only hinders his progress, it has tainted all his efforts so far. It takes a long time for these observations to mature. When they do, he will not only allow, but--perhaps unconsciously--provoke crises designed to smash the status quo. His thrust is to go for his life, the life he is beginning to suspect was denied him. When that happens, he enters the long period of his transformation. It is messy, painful, scary, and absolutely without guarantee. He has, however, no other choice. The past is not totally dead, but projected as a future it is anything from insufficient to unbearable to contemplate.
So, our sun/pluto individuals are people prone to crises provoked, not from without, but from within.
In finishing with sun/pluto definition, I point out that astrology assigns gender to each of the planets. The sun is traditionally masculine. In a woman’s chart, progressions to her sun(s) often represent events happening--not to her, but--primarily to important males in her life. This has been seen as especially the case when women are traditionally feminine, placing all decisions and most control in the hands of their husbands. Notwithstanding that, the sun in her chart also represents a woman’s essence. There are plenty of traditional, feminine women who have strong essences and the “I’s” that come with them. It is a question of whether the woman--traditional or unconventional--is comfortable enough with herself to retain her “I” consciousness.
Starting with pluto, the table below shows its occurrence with the sun for individuals in Family A. Since this method uses birth and conception planets, each individual has two sidereal positions of pluto, birth and conception. The daughter’s and father’s birth and conception plutos were between 2° and 3° apart. Every one else had theirs separated by less than one degree. For the table, I used the pluto--birth or conception--closest in aspect to the sun. Both were in the set with the sun. b before the planet indicates it is a birth planet;. c indicates a conception planet.
Note that all the planets in this table are non-harmonic. That means this set occurs in all twelve charts used in this method, influencing all of them.. It would be extra-emphasized in those harmonic charts in it which harmonics are added to the set, especially those influencing Angles through rulership.
|Individual||Sun||Pluto||Type of Aspect Formed|
|Table I||Father||b: 5 Virgo 38||b: 6 Gemini 33||Square|
|Mother||(does not apply)|
|Son 1||(does not apply)|
|Son 2||c: 4 Libra 18||c: 3 Cancer 33||Square|
|Son 3||c: 2 Cancer 48||b: 4 Cancer 01||Conjunction|
|Son 4||c: 8 Libra 19||b: 9 Cancer 00||Square|
|Daughter||b: 11 Libra 07||b: 11 Cancer 51||Square|
Table 1 shows that the mother and Son 1 do not have a sun/pluto sets (see footnote 3). The father and four of his five children have close sun/pluto sets. Four were square by no more than one-and-one-quarter degrees. One involved a conjunction.
I have been working with this method for twenty years. I may have missed them, but I have not seen many sun/pluto sets. Perhaps, too, I have not seen them because sun/pluto individuals do not readily end up in astrological data bases. I do not know. Five in a family of seven is striking.
We should see what houses the sets influence. But, before that, lets find out which houses they fall in.
With this astrological method birth and conception houses, which are discrete, fit inside each other like a wheel within a wheel. That means birth and conception houses overlap. For instance, let’s suppose birth 4th house runs from 3 Taurus through 23 Taurus. Suppose that in conception those degrees fall in the 7th house. Then there is an overlap of birth 4th house with conception 7th house. I have just adopted the convention, which does not apply to earlier papers, that x always refers to the birth house of house overlaps, while y refers to the conception part of the overlap. So, the notation "x/y" reads “birth house”/”conception house,” in that order. So, 9th/8th means birth 9th house significantly overlaps conception 8th house.
|Individual||Sun’s House Location||Pluto’s House Location|
|Mother||(no sun w/pluto)|
|Son 1||(no sun w/pluto)|
Table II shows that pluto is in at least one, of two possible, of the 9th houses for four of the five individuals with sun/pluto. The father and three of his sons share this condition. He shares sun in the 12th with two of them.
All the males have the sun of their sun/pluto set in either a 1st or 12th house. The 1st house position implies an individual with the self-confidence that is inspired by lots of attention in early childhood. The individual is used to being considered "important" in his own right. The 12th house position, like sun/pluto itself, implies some limitation on the expression of his individuality. He can best "shine" as an individual in restricted environments, such as hospitals and institutions.
The daughter has reversed the situation of the men. She has the sun of her sun/pluto set in a 9th house (where the men have their pluto). For her matters of the 9th house--law, religion, philosophy--are areas in which she feels more at home.
If pluto ruled Scorpio her b pluto would rule her 9th house and she would, that way, share a 9th/pluto influence with her father and siblings. With this method, however, mars rules both Aries and Scorpio, so she does not share that part of their condition.
Since pluto does not rule a sign, I cannot present a table showing pluto’s influence to houses through rulership. The sun, however, rules Leo, so the table below shows its house influence for the sun/pluto sets:
|Individual||House the Sun Rules|
|Table III||Father||b 11th|
|Mother||(does not apply)|
|Son 1||(does not apply)|
|Son 2||c 11th, co-rules (footnote 4) c 10th (25 of 33°)|
|Son 3||c 11th, co-rules c 10th (29 of 32°)|
|Son 4||C MC|
|Daughter||b 7th, co-rules b 6th (28 of 40°)|
In Table III we see that the Father shares 11th house influence of his sun/pluto set with his second and third sons. Sons number 2, 3, and 4 all share its influence to a 10th house, an influence the father does not have. The 11th house influence implies those individuals will be essentially plutonian (sun/pluto), that is, wary, of groups and the power that the group can assert over the individual.
The Daughter’s sun/pluto influence is to completely different houses from that of her father and brothers. The 7th house part of the influence implies she will be essentially plutonian with regard to close partnerships, that is, wary of close relationships. With sun/pluto as part of her male (sun) model for males, she will be interested in plutonian men, that is, men she perceives to be a rule unto themselves, which, of course, does not fit them well for the sharing of partnerships.
The second set worthy of consideration in this family involves the moon and saturn. Once again, all are non-harmonic, so they occur in all 12 harmonic charts.
Saturn is a severe affliction to the moon, especially if one of the planets rules, or is on, an Angle.
Our moon regulates much of our automatic behavior. The moon (its sign, house, and set mates) define how an individual behaves when he is most comfortable, when he does not need the witness represented by his sun. Stated negatively, in the old-fashioned religious sense, our lunar consciousness is the consciousness of our deepest sleep. The old-fashioned religious exhortations to “awake” are admonishments to the individual to rise above his automatic, lunar thinking.
At the same time, the signs our moons are in are very powerful. Moon signs, much more than sun signs, determine areas of interest, which in turn determine how we spend most of our time.
I have written more about the moon in footnote 1 as well as below in the body of this text. I also wrote about moon/saturn in the paper on this site about Vivienne, the teen who committed suicide. Saturn was covered extensively in the papers on clinical depression (William Styron) and autism. Readers are referred to those papers if they want to read more about moon and saturn. Here are their links: Paper About Vivienne and Paper About William Styron's Clinical Depression.
Saturn, in order of the planets, stands in the breach between planets of personality and transpersonal planets. In his descent into a body, at saturn the potential individual’s being is broken off from his Being--soul, if you like--for incarnation. It sounds a little high-flown on paper. In actuality, it is probably a rather dark experience, which is why most of us either cannot, or prefer not, to remember it. That is also why saturn’s inclusion in a set makes the set difficult. In personality it represents an active absence--a “hole” in personality which translates into darkness, depression, hopelessness--rather that a positive presence. In preponderance, it prevails against the realization in the individual of any of the planets of personality (love, communications, growth--represented by venus, mercury, and jupiter, respectively, etc.) in the set.
The Moon Plus Saturn
The moon, natural ruler of the 4th house which is associated with the sign Cancer, has sway over domesticity, feeling, nurturing, and moistness. Fertile is one of its keywords. In the same set with saturn, which sponsors dryness, rigidity, severity, death and old age, the moon loses its flexibility. Feelings, which for the most part are meant to be fleeting, become set in stone. In particular, feelings from early childhood become set in stone.
Comfort so cozy and familiar it can be referred to as sleep (moon) in the same set with darkness so deep we prefer to forget it (saturn) do not make good bedfellows. The two are antithetical. Saturn steals from the moon the comfort it might have been able to provide. Saturn also steals the moon’s spontaneity. The feelings of the individual with a saturn-afflicted moon are more appropriate to his distant past then his present. Inappropriate feelings lead to inappropriate responses. These in turn lead to rejection and failure. These, in turn, sponsor lack of self-confidence, and naturally, depression.
Depending on how forefront the moon/saturn influence is, it implies the individual’s early home life was not very nurturing and that feelings were restricted to "acceptable" ones. This usually occurs through his mother, but a present father is also culpable, especially when they do not get along, so they create an environment based more on restriction than love. Whatever the reason, during the first stages of development, appropriate nurturing is essential to the proper development of every newly born, growing thing. Moon/saturn implies it was deficient and that duty had priority over feelings of well-being. Parents don't create these conditions on purpose. They, themselves, have had little acquaintance with the power and beauty of feelings of well-being, so they do not know how to reproduce them for others.
The table below shows the occurrence of (non-harmonic) moon/saturn sets in Family A:
|Individual||Moon||Saturn||Type of Aspect Formed|
|Table IV||Father||b: 22 Capricorn 05||c: 20 Aries 52R||Square|
|Mother||(does not apply)|
|Son 1||b: 1 Taurus 51||b: 0 Aquarius 04R||Square|
|Son 2||c: 10 Leo 39||c: 9 Aquarius 53SR||Opposition|
|Son 3||c: 8 Pisces 46||c: 11 Pisces 15R||Conjunction|
|Son 4||(does not apply)|
|Daughter||b: 1 Aquarius 18||b: 2 Taurus 42R||Square|
The father and four of his five children have moon/saturn sets. Only Son 3 and the daughter have their saturn progressing toward their moons, indicating their feelings will get even more restricted (or rejected) for some period during their lives.
The son without moon/saturn was favored by the mother. She also did not have a moon/saturn set. So, their feelings were more fluid and self-accepted than those of other family members. But because of her emotional immaturity and given the fact her favor occurred at a time her marriage was in trouble, it was not in all ways good for his growth.
Let’s see which houses they fall in.
|Individual||Moon’s House Location||Saturn’s House Location|
|Mother||(does not apply)|
|Son 4||(does not apply)|
Although this table, Table V, contributes information to the family story, houses these moons and saturns fall in do not exhibit great sharing of position among family members. The distribution for the moon is:
We do know that a 5th house moon is fertile for children, and that it tends to focus some part of the life automatically on sexuality.
For saturn it is:
What houses do they influence through rulership?
|Individual||Moon Rules||Saturn Rules|
|Table VI||Father||B MC||b 4th|
|Mother||(does not apply)|
|Son 1||b 8th, co-rules b 7th (18 of 40°)||b 2nd, co-rules b 1st|
|Son 2||C MC||c 4th, co-rules c 3rd (22 of 38°)|
|Son 3||b 2nd||c 4th, co-rules c 3rd (27 of 36°)|
|Son 4||(does not apply)|
|Daughter||b 6th, co-rules b 5th (18 of 25°)||b 12th, co-rules b 11th|
Son 1’s moon and saturn do not rule Angles. However, his C MC is at 4 Scorpio 48: his c sun at 2 Scorpio 56. With his b moon at 1 Taurus 19 and his saturn at 0 Aquarius 04, his saturn is double-lighted (by the sun and moon). Therefore, his sun/moon/saturn is within orb of influencing his C Asc. Its severity is greatly diminished because his saturn is retrograde, progressing away from his C Asc and both lights.
The father and Son 2 have moon/saturn influencing an Angle and a 4th house, influencing the last years of life, suggesting restrictions during that period.
Son 3’s influences a 4th without influencing an Angle. Theoretically, it has less influence on the end of his life. But the moon and saturn were conjunct in Pisces, a sign which can be heavily laden with suffering. Sons 2 and 3 share its additional influence to a 3rd house (depression and, sometimes, conventional or rigid thinking).
The father died at age 71 as the result of a fire. His c saturn of his moon/saturn set started out retrograde. It turned direct and was one degree (at 21 Aries 05) away from and approaching his moon when he died. Neither of these influenced 4th houses, so this set was not instrumental in his death. His b saturn, ruler of b 4th house, was opposition a progressed Angle when he died.
Son 2 died at age 66 after a long battle with various health problems culminating in cancer. He was born with his c saturn (of his moon/saturn set) retrograde. It turned stationary direct when he was sixteen and started heading back towards his moon. It progressed to the exact opposition of his c moon when he was 50, at which time it was moving about 3’/year. It was just a degree beyond opposition his moon, at 11 Aquarius 49, when he died. It looked like he survived the devastation of this set, influencing both an Angle and a 4th house, but he died when a progressed Angle hit that saturn’s progressed position (and progressed b mars at the same time), about 2° later. By turning stationary direct and moving toward his moon, Son 2’s saturn subjected him to years of difficult health problems before he got cancer.
I should add, at birth Son 2's moon/saturn was in a set with mars and neptune (and venus, ruling C Asc). Saturn ruled c 4th. Moon ruled C MC. The paper on Dr. Tom Dooley's fight with cancer examined its occurrence through his 6th chart. Son 2's cancer (moon/mars/saturn/neptune) did not show up in his 6th chart. It occurred in his 7th chart. Light/mars/saturn/neptune influencing an Angle and 4th house can have other interpretations besides cancer (death homeless, and death in a concentration camp are two of them.) The only reason I can think of that Son 2's set ended up representing cancer was the influence of neptune, which co-ruled b 6th house--9 out of 26 degrees, just within the 1/3 of the total I require before calling a planet a co-ruler. So the whole set ruled two Angles, a 4th house, and co-ruled a 6th.
Son 3 died at the age of 59 of cancer (actually, the chemical and radiological treatment for it, which he started insufficiently hale to survive) following years battling multiple sclerosis. Son 3’s saturn, like Son 2’s eventually, was progressing toward his moon. On the date of his death progressed c saturn (ruling c 4th house) was at 8 Pisces 24R, having passed 22’ beyond his birth moon at 8 Pisces 46. Its long-term influence--it progressed approximately 5’/year--to his 4th house was a powerful, but not the sole astrological factor leading to his death. Since neither his moon nor his saturn ruled an Angle, his death occurred only when progressing Angles picked up both mars and saturn at the same time he was so exceptionally weakened by his long-term saturn to moon.
Neither son was the type to just lie down and die. Each fought hard--and very long--for his life. But long-term secondary saturns to the moon are quite debilitating, especially, I believe, affecting health when one of them rules 4th or 6th houses. Some day, when medicine again works with astrology, we can see how much life-style (a truly nutritious diet, regular exercise, no bad habits like smoking, drinking, etc.) can mitigate against such debilitation.
The Daughter’s moon and saturn do not rule any Angles. However, her C MC is at 2 Scorpio 29. Her b moon at 1 Aquarius 33 is square it. Her b saturn at 2 Taurus 42R is on her conception I.C., that is, on the 4th house cusp. So she, along with Father and Son 2 has lived all her life with moon/saturn influencing an Angle and a 4th house. In terms of the damage a slow secondary progression of saturn to the moon can do (as with Sons 2 and 3), her saturn progressed exactly opposite her C MC at age 3, and squared her moon exactly at age 18. Her moon and MC are only 1° 11’ apart by square, so it took 15 years for saturn to traverse that distance before reducing the severity of its influence. She was more fortunate than her two older brothers in that her secondary progression of saturn to her moon occurred when she was young enough to benefit from the resiliency of health usually associated with youth. Nonetheless, because saturn is on the I.C. ("end of life years), the influence of this set increases with age, once again implying more restrictions for the last years of life.
Thus, ultimately, the Father and three of the four children who duplicated his moon/saturn also had it influencing an Angle.
From the above data, it looks like moon/saturn (or any lighted saturn) influencing a 4th house is as life threatening as ones ruling both an Angle and 4th. Everything depends on which direction progressing saturn is moving--toward or away from the moon.
More about moon/saturn as it influences Angles and/or 4th houses is written in the paper about Vivienne (link above) and the one about Dag Hammarskjöld (in his 7th chart). Here' the link to the latter: Paper on Hammarskjöld.
The third condition I want to show does not even involve planetary sets. It shows prevalence of moon signs.
Western astrology emphasizes the sun sign. I, at least, know of no books sold solely about the moon sign. Our emphasis on sun sign implies that if we know our sun signs, we would know so very much about ourselves. You could see my justification for such an emphasis--if I had one--from the material above I wrote about solar versus lunar consciousness.
But I do not have that emphasis. I value solar consciousness, but I think the sign(s) the moon(s) are in consume much more of our waking life and are far greater in “defining” us than our suns.
In many years I have been doing this form of astrology I have observed that people do not form groups or friendships based on shared sun signs. They are based on shared moon signs. Suns may witness, but moons imbibe. We join up with people with whom we share similar appetites. (This is not the same as synastry between two charts, where I find jupiter (forbearance) of one on the Angle of the other the best of all possible connections. It is not as exciting as venus (love), but much more dependable.)
In the table below, moon signs are taken from the 7th chart, the major chart of this method, and include birth (b), birth harmonic (b7), conception (c), and conception harmonic (c7):
|Individual||B moon||B7 moon||C Moon||C7 moon|
Below is their distribution by sign. The first number represents the total number of moons in that sign. The second number--in parentheses--indicates how many different individuals in the family have at least one moon in that sign:
|Table VIII||Aries||2 (2)|
Out of 28 moons spread among these seven individuals, the most highly represented sign is Scorpio, a sign indicating an interest in strengthening common bonds (8th house) and shared assets, the communion aspect of sex, and the transformations implied in personal and spiritual change. The next is moon in Leo.
Scorpio first. Scorpio moons, like everything in an astrology chart, have varying levels of interpretation. Individuals with Scorpio moons may have a strong interest in esoteric matters. It is a superb moon sign for showing the cohesion of group members regardless of their areas of interest. So it can be prevalent among those members of a spiritual group who remain to after the teacher has died. It can also be prevalent among members of a gang--any group where cohesion is instrumental in maintaining the group.
When males with Scorpio moons are given a reason to be angry with women, they are usually potently angry, holding on to it and justifying it for years. They show a need for dominance based on a deep interest in sexual and emotional bonding combined with vulnerability sponsored by sense of betrayal by women, usually the mother.
Finally, Scorpio moon (and sun) is strong in certain types of murderers, especially those who cut up the victim's body. But charts of murderers like that also show severe blockage of their sexuality, their ability to relate, and their ability to feel for others. I do not know, but suspect their destructiveness shows vulnerability combined with anger. Let's say it is true. Then, his vulnerability, his anger is so great that only the victim’s death, and subsequent and final possession of her body, eliminates the possibility he will "lose again." It allows him the only closeness he can experience. Dead his victim can never leave him. Dead she has become his absolute possession. Serial killer Ted Bundy was so possessive of some of his victims he would not reveal the location of their remains even when he knew he must die. (See footnote 5 for a short discussion of his astrology.)
How high or low a Scorpio moon functions--it produces battle heroes as well as seriously ill people--therefore depends on what the individual has to do to achieve belonging and possessing with others. It probably also depends on his level of being, but that is not so provable with astrology.
Six Scorpio moons are spread among the father, mother, and first three sons. For these parents, their shared moon in Scorpio passed to their first three children without hindrance. Those three shared their parents interest in familial bonding and togetherness.
The mother’s Taurus moon--showing a love of luxury, material possessions, and sensuality as well as aesthetic appreciation--is picked up by Son 1 and Son 3, and then disappears.
The father’s Leo moon--showing emphasis on personal pride, a strong ego, loyalty, generosity-- is reflected in Son 2 and Son 4, then disappears.
Relating shared moon sign to parental success (“dominance”) for their Taurus and Leo moons, Mom got Son 1, Dad got Son 2, Mom got Son 3, and Dad got Son 4. Let's see if that trend continues.
Leo moons were shared by the father, Son 2, and Son 4. So, Son 4, the first child to be born without a Scorpio moon, at least shared the one in Leo with his father and one brother.
Pisces moons do not appear until Son 3 and again in Son 4, indicating the Mother’s role as nurturer has begun to break down further (besides the moon/saturn sets). Pisces moons can and do run in families in which are found indications of psychic ability. Under those circumstances, they are not an indication of the breakdown in family life. They represent an openness that comes from the lack of ego of a Pisces moon. But Pisces lunar consciousness can also represents anomie, a feeling of being lost or abandoned, also sponsored by the fact they represent an area of weak ego formation These two siblings had some psychic abilities, especially Son 3, who also had lighted neptune influencing a 3rd house. Since neither parent had moon in Pisces, and considering Son 3’s affliction to his moon in Pisces, I am not going to claim this as an instance of psychic abilities passed down through a family, which I have personally seen but not published. The Pisces moons here indicate primarily a breakdown in family strength and only secondarily represent psychic abilities.
In addition to his Pisces moon, Son 4, the one favored by the Mother, shared an Aries moon with his mother, and two Leo moons (to his father’s one) with his father. The latter helped strengthen his relationship to his father when being favored by the mother threatened it. He also shared a moon sign with his two next oldest brothers, showing the potentiality of good bonding with them.
The daughter shares one moon sign with her father (Aquarius) and one with her oldest brother (Cancer). The one shared with the oldest brother was not likely to have contributed much to relationship, at least in childhood. He was seven years older with three sibling between him and his sister.
Let’s look at this prevalence of moon sign by counting the number of other family members each individual in this nuclear family shared a moon sign with:
Looking at it this way, it illustrates the same phenomenon as that indicated by the sharing of Scorpio moons among Father, Mother, and first three children. The family starts out, as indicated by shared moon signs, with considerable relatedness. After Son 3 it begins to drop. It reaches a precipitously low number with the last child, the Daughter. Importantly, one of her shared moons is with her father. She lacks an all-important lunar connection to her other parent, her mother. And, effectively speaking, has no lunar connection to her brothers.
This in turn correlates with the fact she is the only one with her moon/saturn closely on an Angle with saturn progressing toward both, which she experienced as a general and long-term flatness of feeling when not out-and-out depression. For a girl, supposed to be especially in touch with her feelings, that's not too promising.
Daughter’s Cancer moons likely represent an interest in being nurtured. (It can later turn into an interest in nurturing others.) Her Aquarian ones show a form of giving up in the face of the greater, and stronger, competition of the stronger ego moons in Scorpio and Leo. Scorpio moons advance their interests by belonging--shared rules of engagement. Leo moons advance their interests by being somebody, and reflexively by being somebody only with other somebodies--shared rules of self-assertion and loyalty. Aquarian ones by being nobody (actually, by being “everybody,” which results in being nobody). Their common denominator--extended to its logical conclusion--is humanity itself, which gives too broad a base to create any sense of belonging to a group.
Continuing with the family’s story, three of the four sons worked together for many years in the same area of business in the same town in mid-America and often in the same business. Son 2 and the Daughter spent much of their adult life on opposite coasts. I am not sure of the astrological basis for Son 2’s opting out of the group. I suspect one to be the difficulty of two adult male siblings with Leo moons sharing work space. Another would have been his moon/saturn, which influenced an Angle and was therefore dominant in his life. In order to be expressed it would have required more separation from people--being alone or with few others--than can be found in any group, even a family.
I somewhat over-simplify in attributing so much of life to just a few sets and a few moons. Charts contain many influences. We have, for example, not examined any synastry between their charts in this family. We have not looked into interests as indicated by location and sign of rulers of 3rd houses For instance, the Father had his c mercury in Sagittarius exactly opposition his C MC. That makes it forefront, and some interpretation of its sign should have been prominent in his life. He had a lifelong, seldom admitted interest in law. (It could have been religion or travel, but for him it was the law.) He came to adulthood during the great Depression at a time when even graduating from high school was unlikely for children of poor families. Few of them attended university.
Yes, I over-simplify, but the sets I write about here are exceeding powerful and had profound affects on the individual’s lives.
Family A has no moons in Gemini, Virgo, and Libra. The first two are prominent in the charts of writers, editors, publishers, analysts, public speakers, and individuals otherwise fascinated with language and tasks involving discrimination. Neither the father nor the mother were "readers," nor did they encourage it in their children.
I am not sure why Libra moon had no representation. Perhaps because it represents the give-and-take of relationship, learning about and honoring the other fellow. Whereas the Scorpio moon is less interested in the actual facts of the other fellow than in maintaining bonds with them. We see this emphasis in families which put great stress of the importance of family, even going so far as to say "my family right or wrong." It is often seen as a survival technique among families still reaching for material and social status, as occurs, for instance, among many poor immigrant families. But, of course, it is not limited to that.
Is Intelligence Inherited?
My intention to cover only three items relative to duplicated traits has faltered. I will add one more of at least four additional ones I have so far examined. I assume there are many more. I also assume this family is typical, that is, that most nuclear families show considerable repetition--beginning with the parents as models-- of traits throughout. And, that their occurrence in one child and not another also has meaning.
Mercury in the same set with uranus shows a “bright” individual. This is especially true when the set is either on an Angle or influencing one through rulership.
Mercury in general stands for thinking, writing, communicating, and intelligence. As natural ruler of the 3rd house, its condition as well as that of the 3rd house (and 3rd chart) reflects intellectual capacities.
Uranus sponsors innovation, invention, insight. Combined with mercury it shows an individual who is bright, inventive, innovative, and intuitive--some one generally considered to have a fine mind.
A person can be very intelligent but not be known for it. Such would be the case, for instance in Family A, if none of the planets in the mercury/uranus set influences an Angle. (They do not really have to influence a 3rd house, because mercury’s inclusion already shows a “3rd house” influence.) The display of their exceptional intelligence can also be dragged down by insecurity and inappropriate life paths.
Once again, I use the 7th chart for the table below. It is the chart most reflective of what we know about an individual. The 3rd chart should also be examined, but I do not do it here. The 7th chart is a start.
Below is the table showing occurrence of mercury/uranus in the 7th charts of Family A. I have omitted degree positions. The widest orb of mercury to uranus was in the chart of the mother, who had them 3° 42’ apart and without light. All the others either had them closer and/or with a light.. The table shows influences to houses through rulership only when they rule 3rd (ordinary mind) and 9th houses (higher mind) and Angles:
|Individual||Is With Uranus?||Houses Influenced|
|Table X||Father||b7 and c7||all four Angles (in Gemini/Virgo) + b 9th, mercury in 3rd and conjunct IC|
|Son 1||b7 and c||C MC and b 9th|
|Son 2||c and c7||c 9th|
|Son 3||c||B MC, C Asc, c 9th|
|Son 4||b and c||B Asc, c 3rd, c 9th|
|Daughter||(does not apply)|
The Father, Son 1, Son 3, and Son 4 all have mercury/uranus influence to Angles (as well as 3rd houses either through house influence or through mercury). Son 2 has mercury conjunct uranus in his 3rd house and the mother had her conjunction co-ruling a 3rd house.
This whole family was known as “bright.” Neither parent completed Junior High. Only the last two siblings completed high school. Son 3 completed his GED later in life. As adults, the sons used their intellectual abilities in business.
The daughter is the only one without a mercury/uranus set. She, however, has both her non-harmonic (all charts) uranuses in 3rd houses (of mind). It is not the same, but similar, so her mind (3rd) is very uranian. And since one of those uranuses is also on an Angle, her whole life is uranian.
I am not sure about the meaning of this set to the 9th house in the Father and all four of his sons. I suspect it is this: the Mother came from a Catholic background and would have raised her children in that church. The Father, however, was firm in insisting each child be allowed to grow up, then choose which, if any, religion he wanted. None of the children became traditional churchgoers. I do not know if they were “religious.” And, of course, none grew up knowing anything about the possible positive benefits of regular church attendance.
It is not right to write about intelligence without adding that among human beings (as well as animals) there are all kinds of intelligence. Mercury/uranus is known as bright. Mercury/neptune as creative. Mercury/pluto as investigative. Mercury/venus as poetic (and it makes a very persuasive salesman), and so on. Schools tend to recognize “mercury” type intelligence, but there many are other kinds. For one example, according to Daniel Goleman, “emotional intelligence” also exists. I think emotional intelligence a function of a prominent jupiter--which indicates an individual with considerable self-confidence and self-esteem--but that study, relative to astrological indicators, has not been done systematically.
These five children, born approximately two years apart, were the offspring of a young, working class couple who married during the Great Depression. When they married he was nineteen. She was fifteen. They lost their first three children. Two, I believe, were premature. One died an hour after birth. Both worked full time in blue collar jobs while creating their family.
Neither parent had sun in the 1st house. I do not know the Father’s position in his family relative to his parent’s love and approval. The Mother was a favored child. Their interest in their own children shows in the presence of a sun in the 1st house in the charts of their first three sons (footnote 6). It shows they started out with an enthusiasm for the individuality of their offspring. The child’s individuality (sun) shines in childhood (1st house). Practically the only way it can do that is if the parents encourage it.
Son 1 had c sun in c 1st house. Son 2 also had c son in c 1st house. Son 3 had c sun in b 1st house. The first two are probably a bit stronger than the last. If we separated birth from conception charts instead of combining them, Son 3 would not have a 1st house sun.
Sun in the 1st can also be considered as spoiling of the child. It is a delicate balance. I mentioned this in the paper on Schumann. Throughout his life the child with the 1st house sun keeps trying to repeat his early experiences of being really somebody, that is, trying to relive the appreciation of his early (parent) audience. Somewhat like some one with an Aries sun (ruler of the natural 1st house), he is good at being himself for himself, but poor at relating to others (7th, the opposite house). His marriage partners can suffer from a perpetual sense of abandonment because his individuality is not realized through marriage. Neither an Aries sun nor sun in the 1st house is necessarily cruel or selfish. They are just not natural at appreciating partners. Those with sun in Libra--the opposite sign, implying partnerships--are.
In the title I brought up the question of heredity. At same time I write about these traits as if they were acquired. The duplication from parent to child--to so many of the children--raises the question of heredity. In this paper the set that comes closest to showing identity of astrological with physically inheritable traits is the one for intelligence, with mercury/uranus. This type of study done on hereditary traits known to have passed through several generations would certainly be interesting.
Both sun/pluto and moon/saturn traveled through this family via the father. The mother does not have either set in her charts. In terms of those two very powerful sets, he was the dominant personality. Most of his children copied his astrological condition.
Family cohesion as represented by Scorpio moons in Father, Mother, and the first three siblings shows early cooperation and agreement. In their early family life the parents presented a united front. But the distribution of the Father’s Leo moons to Sons 2 and 4, and the Mother’s Taurus moons to Sons 1 and 3 also shows competition. The failure of the parents to pass their Scorpio moons to siblings 4 and 5 shows at least the beginning of a breakdown in parental cooperation. The degree of the breakdown is reflected in the appearance of the Pisces moons in Sons 3 and 4, and, finally, the occurrence of close moon/saturn on an Angle in the Daughter, with saturn progressing toward both. It also shows in the fact she shares so few moon signs with family members, indicating they had lost sight of including her.
Is this the only story that can be constructed using the distribution of the sets and signs above? I think to some extent another story is possible. For instance, how the children acquired sets from one or another parent is open to debate. Some schools of thought would say before birth the souls of the children were attracted to these parents who could provide them the experience (astrological sets) sought. That approach says these offspring wanted their sun/pluto and moon/saturn sets so they found parents who they could "acquire" them from. But that would ultimately make those sets neither acquired nor inherited.
Also, I think it at least arguable whether or not the parents competed over the children to produce alternating Taurus and Leo moons for the first four children. Children naturally identify with one or another parent, does this sequence have to represent competition?
After that, I think possible changes in the story become more limited.
The mercury/uranus form of intelligence of both parents was passed on to four of their five children.
I believe these parents stayed together for the sake of raising their children. They separated, after 27 years of marriage, when the youngest reached 17. Both parents were loved and honored, but he was far more admired. Not openly, but sub rosa, he won the children, a sort of Pyrrhic victory, I understand.
Analysis in this paper does not include synastry--comparing charts to each other, especially for conjunctions. For instance, when one member’s saturn falls on another’s Ascendant, the former usually rejects the latter. Synastry would have added considerably to understanding this family's dynamics, but would have been too much information to make a easily readable paper.
I present this paper as a partial study of one family, not research. It contains astrology of only one family and no others, no control groups, and no statistical analyses. A number of families would have to cooperate in order for a study like this to turn into a research project.
If you come from a family with validated birth times in which you suspect the transmission of traits through generations, consider cooperating with me in a study. I know that people are interested in establishing whether or not depression runs through families and generations. I am sure there are other traits or medical conditions that would be suitable for study. I would like to be able to publish the results of any study, but could keep identities anonymous.
(1) I am not singling out the moon in Leo for drubbing. Moons in all the signs have a different character from suns in the same sign. Suns “know how to do it, no more bones about it, and no more need to investigate it.” Hence, the comfort, the aplomb we all have about our sun sign qualities. Moons in a sign are always doing what a very young child believed to be the qualities of sun in that sign (even if he did not know astrology--it is not about signs but about modes of being.) Compared to the sun, the moon in the same sign is always counterfeit. Moons, after the fashion of young children, are trying to be authentic (suns). It is like the difference between an apple and a picture of an apple. Nonetheless, a Leo moon, like a Leo sun, is strong for survival because it represents either a strong ego or an apparently strong ego.
A well-aspected (or poorly-aspected) moon can be just as powerful as a well-aspected (or poorly-aspected) sun, with a few differences. In those cases the suns and moons are acting as lights for the benefic (or malefic) conditions. Either will do to carry us to heaven or hell.
But, when it comes to what we have that is really ours, it is this way: we incarnate to experience conditions here so we can return with something real gleaned from our encounter. When we die, impressions gathered by our solar consciousness can ascend to “Heaven.” The often massive accumulations of our lunar consciousness cannot. Fantasy has an important place in our lives, but if it is all just fantasy, there is no growth.
(2) I should add that sun/pluto is not the only astrological sponsor of delayed growth of essence.
(3) This uses the trine of traditional astrology, but what it is setting off is the original conjunction, square, or opposition of the set. In terms of harmonics, when the sun progresses to 30° further from the sun than it started out, it forms new sets in all the harmonic charts (conjunctions in the 2nd, 6th, and 10th charts; oppositions in the 4th, 8th, and 12th charts; applying squares in the 1st, 5th, and 9th charts, and separating squares in the 5th 7th, and applying squares in the 3rd, 7th, and 11th charts). A progressed trine of the sun to the original sun square pluto forms conjunctions in the 1st, 7th, and 10th charts of the progressed harmonic sun with the original harmonic pluto. But, of course, progressed harmonic pluto has also changed a little bit from its original position, so there may be several conjunctions spread over several years. All the rest of the aspects formed by solar arc sun to pluto are trines and sextiles, which are not used in sets.
(3) Son 1 does have a trine of sun and pluto. It produces a set only in his 1st chart, where sun and pluto are conjunct. Harmonic sun is at 8 Scorpio 48, while harmonic pluto is at 4 Scorpio 45. After the 1st chart, the separation is too wide to consider them part of the same set.
(4) A planet must co-rule at least one-third of a house to be considered a viable co-ruler.
(5) In his 7th chart, Bundy had sun, moon, mercury, and mars in Scorpio (sex and transformations) in c 8th house--none conjunct. Mars was conjunct b SN and ruled B MC and b 5th house. Moon ruled b 12th house. Sun ruled B Asc in c 5th house. Its harmonic, b7 sun, was in Capricorn (control). C 5th was afflicted with a conjunction of saturn to pluto (withdrawal), lighted. B 8th contained c7 NN in Pisces conjunct b7 saturn in Pisces. His 5th chart was very afflicted. His 10th chart added harmonic neptune and pluto to his SN/mars conjunction in Scorpio--all of which affected b 5th, both 8th houses, and B MC. I have written about influence of parents as reflected in the 4th and 10th charts especially the paper about the Ted Kaczynski and Dag Hammarskjöld.
(6) In twenty years I have not come to any absolute conclusions about the difference between birth and conception planets. In part that is because birth and conception function together to create our identities. It would take special, and perhaps unusual, effort to separate them if they can be separated. Until that happens, I try to keep in mind what I actually know about the difference between birth and conception and what I wish I knew.
Horoscope Symbols by Robert Hand. Gloucester, Massachusetts: Para Research, 1981.
The Facts on File--Atlas of Stars and Planets: A Beginner's Guide to the Universe, by Ian Ridpath. New York: Facts on File, 1992.
Birth data for these charts are from my personal and confidential files and not publishable..