This paper contains information helpful for reading the chart used in this method. These "rules" have been empirically-derived over the past 28 years. So they are time-tested through continuous research. They were not selected based on "personal preferences" or prejudices.
At one point I did a series of studies of twins’ charts. They were exceptionally rewarding in terms of confirming some of the principles of delineation stated below. I have included links to each twin study where appropriate. Of course, some of the twin illustrations, such as the one that shows that only the Egyptian harmonic could have resulted in that condition, are backed up many times by work shown in other papers, but the twin studies are particularly convincing.
This astrology uses both birth and conception planets, each of their harmonics, and their houses and Angles placed around the same axis. Therefore, any particular birth house will overlap one or two conception houses and vice versa.
These are called house overlaps. House overlaps play an important part in this astrology.
Any planet in the chart is always simultaneously in two houses—birth and conception. Its interpretation involves both houses, though sometimes one house comes out stronger than the other.
Throughout all papers I use the convention when writing about house overlaps of putting the birth house first, then the conception house. So, for instance, a “5th/1st overlap” refers to an overlap of birth 5th house with conception 1st house in that order.
Forced to adopt a name for this method, I chose “Astrospect.” Astrospect is derived from two words, astrology and specifications. The “t” is added for ease of pronunciation. To myself, I just call it “the birth/conception chart.”
This astrology uses the sidereal positions of the planets, when necessary converted from the tropical using the Fagan-Bradley SVP (Ayanamsa). For my view on the different implications of tropical ("Western") and sidereal ("Eastern") astrology, read:
The Sidereal and Tropical Zodiacs: A Discussion
The chart that is comprised only of birth and conception planets (without harmonics) is called the shell chart. The shell chart is the same for all 12 charts. Adding the differing harmonics to the shell charts produces the different charts—1st through 12th .
The chart containing all the planets (sidereal and harmonic) before any progressions is called the basal (or base) chart. I couldn’t just, as does traditional astrology, call it “the birth chart” because it is more than a birth chart. “Basal” and “pre-progressed” are the same thing.
Because it is most used in the United States, I adopted use of the Placidian House System after using Campanian for ten years (when I still did traditional Western astrology).
This method uses the rulers of signs traditionally used in astrology, with venus ruling both Taurus and Libra, mercury ruling both Gemini and Virgo, and mars ruling both Aries and Scorpio. Occasionally it appears to me that rulership of Scorpio is shared by mars and pluto (especially for the total meaning of the 8th house), but have gotten along fine without pluto ruling anything.
Conception planets rule conception houses and Angles only. Birth planets rule birth houses and Angles only.
Conception Angles and planets start progressing at conception. Birth Angles and planets start progressing at birth. Progressions used are called secondary progressions, likely available on all computer software.
This method uses harmonics 3 through 14 for charts 1 though 12, respectively.
Harmonics are taken from the sidereal position of the planets. The Egyptian harmonic, discussed in the paper “About This Method,” is used, and has yielded superior results. Since my software gives me the normal harmonic, and not the Egyptian one, I first ask the software for the normal harmonic, then mentally convert it to the Egyptian one. The operations which yield the Egyptian harmonic from the normal one can be found in the following paper:
About This Method, The Egyptian Harmonic
The following twin study especially highlights the validity of the Egyptian harmonic on twins born two minutes apart. The set would not work with a "regular" harmonic:One Twin Homosexual, His Sister, Heterosexual . . But that is small compared to the mercury-on—an-Angle and Gemini representation in charts of writers, chronic communicators, and those known for their mental dexterity shown in the charts in the paper on tropical vs. sidereal astrology. Here, again, is that link:Sidereal vs. Tropical Astrology. There are many more examples in the many papers on this site.
This method greatly reduces the number of aspects used in traditional astrology (see more below under “Aspects.”). In effect, however, the harmonics take up and “recognize” many aspects. But, of course, I am referring to close aspects. Since, for instance, the 10th chart is generated by the 12th harmonic, an aspect only one degree apart in the sidereal is going to be 12 degrees apart in its harmonic. Twelve degrees is not a valid set in this method.
Different harmonics “recognize” different traditional aspects. Below is a table of some of them:
|Exact Aspect Between Two Sidereal Planets of:||Generates a Harmonic:||In Chart(s):|
|30°||square||1st and 7ths|
|30°||opposition||4th and 10th|
|45°||conjunction||6th and 10th|
|45°||square||4th, 8th, and 12th|
|60°||conjunction||4th and 10th|
|60°||opposition||1st and 7th|
|120°||conjunction||1st, 4th, 7th, and 10th|
|135°||square||4th, 8th, and 12th|
|135°||opposition||2nd and 10th|
|150°||square||1st and 7th|
|72°||conjunction||3rd and 8th|
|165°||square||4th and 10th|
If I have counted correctly, the above table shows that:
The above shows that (close) traditional astrological aspects favor producing new information in the harmonics for the 4th and 10th charts. But two things need to be remembered. One, the above list of aspects is not exhaustive, though it does include the most used traditional aspects. Second, once produced, harmonic planets also interact (to form a conjunction, square, or opposition) with sidereal planets in all charts. Those are not so predictable.
It is important to remember that the harmonic used for each chart is always 2 greater than the number of the chart, e.g., the 9th harmonic is used to create the 7th chart. For ease in reading, in papers on site I use the convention of writing the harmonic number the same as the chart number. For instance, “b12 mars” represents the harmonic of birth mars for the 12th chart (but the harmonic used to find b12 mars is the 14th). C1 venus represents the harmonic of conception venus for the 1st chart (but the harmonic used to find it is the 3rd.)
This method uses only conjunctions, applying and separating squares, and oppositions. Orbs are defined below.
Planets so related to each other are referred to as in the same “set"” and are written planet/planet/planet, e.g., moon/venus/jupiter. A set, then, is two or more planets (or an Angle/planet) connected to each other through conjunction, square, and opposition within the defined orbs (3rd paragraph below). The set is more active if/when it contains a light or Angle, and less active without either. Learning to see in terms of “crosses,” i.e., 90° angles, is helpful in rapidly finding planets in the same set.
Sets can be compared between charts. A compound set consists of planets conjunct, square, or opposition each other from the charts of two individuals. Their acceptable orb is also 2°. If a light is involved, orb increases to 5° (with 5 degrees being weak). Compound sets are most powerful when they also include an Angle or a light and least powerful (to the point of hardly mattering) when they include neither. They can come into play, however, through progressed and return lights and Angles.
Lights include suns, moons, and moons nodes. When mercury rules an Angle (Gemini or Virgo), it functions both as a light and a planet. For instance, when mercury rules B MC and/or B Asc and is in the same set with mars and saturn, that constitutes a lighted (by mercury) mercury/mars/saturn set with forefront (see definition below under "forefront and background") influence because the mercury also rules an Angle. When mercury is also acting like a light, it has the same orb as other lights--5°.
The following twin study highlights the fact that when mercury rules an Angle is also acts like a light: One Twin Has Myasthenia Gravis, the Other Does Not.
The Midheaven (MC) and Ascendant (Asc) are also like lights, but with a lesser orb. They bring forefront the expression of any planet they share a set with. In fact, that is the definition of forefront—either an Angle is involved in the set (in which case the Angle is also the "light" with an orb of only 2°) or one of the planets in the set rules an Angle and the set also contains a light (sun, moon, or nodes, with an orb of 5°). Forefront influences form the major chords of our lives.
All planets in any set are lighted, then, when the set includes at least one of the following: Angle, sun, moon, or nodes, and mercury when it rules at least one Angle.
“Orb” is the word used by astrologers to set how far from an ideal degree of separation two or more planets can be from each other and still comprise a valid set (aspect). The “ideal” degrees of separation used by this method are restricted to those of conjunctions (0°), applying and separating squares (90°), and oppositions (180°).
Sets are called static when they come only from the pre-progressed charts. Otherwise, they are referred to as “progressed/return.” Planet/path or sometimes just “path” is the general term that refers to the planets in a set and the Angles and houses they influence.
It must be stressed that significators for events, e.g., heart attack deaths, occur first as at least a partial significator in the static chart, in this case, most often the 6th chart. At the time of the event—here death from heart attack—the original significator itself will have become complete and again brought forefront by timing, or a second complete significator (or several sets summed to form one) will have formed and become forefront.
”Forefront” means the set is either on an Angle, or influencing one through rulership of one the planets in the set.
Planets used to form sets for events and conditions are: (1) the birth and conception and their harmonics, (2) birth and conception progressions and their harmonics, and (3) return planets and their harmonics for the return covering the event. (4) Also used are birth and conception Angles, their progressions, and return Angles. All comprise the same set as long as they are all within acceptable orb of each other. Acceptable orbs are discussed below.
Setting--i.e., discovering what really works--orbs for this form of astrology is more complicated than for traditional astrology. This astrology has many more lights (suns, moons, and moon’s nodes)—both pre-progressed (static) and progressed. Lights increase acceptable orb—not a lot, but significantly. And more than one light can fall in a progressing set, which again stretches acceptable orb—not a lot, but again, significantly
Therefore, this section about orbs calls for longer and more detailed explanation than some of the other sections.
When I first started writing about this astrology and was still finding out, empirically, which orbs worked, I had published (sometime in the 1980s) a paper with Ken Gillman, editor of the astrological journal “Considerations.” At that point in my education on orbs, a light/planet orb was set at 5 degrees. Gillman was unhappy with that, stating that it thus included a whole of 10 degrees (5 degrees before exact and 5 after) and that there would thus be no planets that were unaspected.
I am a little less concerned than him about the potentiality of never finding un-aspected planets, but I eventually became concerned about the previously set acceptable orb of 5 degrees.
When I first started working with this method), I worked only with the 7th chart, which uses the 9th harmonic. That continued for ten years without me feeling any need to even consider the validity of other harmonics. Slowly, however, conditions accumulated which should surely have had strong significators, but I could not find them. This was the case, for instance, with mental retardation (as it was then called) and autism.
Theoretically, both of those conditions would show their significators strongest in the 3rd chart of mind, involved not only in intelligence but in communication.
Indeed, I found satisfactory significators for both condition for all available subjects in their 3rd charts. But those for autism sometimes involved greater orbs than I was comfortable with, and sometimes were just weak.
Over time—many years, I found that the same set could be much closer in orb in a harmonic chart other than the 3rd. For example, the significator for autism, which for autism is Angle/light/saturn/pluto/3rd in which the 3rd means 3rd house, typically occurs in the 3rd chart, but its next typical chart to occur in is the 8th—always with the same planet/path regardless of the chart occurring in. Assuming the later finding valid—it has to be backed up by valid timed sets, for instance, for date of diagnosis, the necessary conclusion had to be that the allowed orb for sets that had been found only in the 3rd chart were not valid, but too large.
There are papers with significators on two more “mental” conditions, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. As of 2019 I understand that their significators typically fall in the 3rd chart. Their planet/path has remained valid, but charts they might be found in has increased. There may be more to the significator, involving adding to it. There may also be anti-significators which reduce or ameliorate significator conditions. Mental retardation is an example, in which an individual may have the full significator but is found not retarded if they have mercury on an Angle—any mercury, not just mercury ruling a 3rd house.
For bipolar disorder, the significator is Angle/light/saturn/uranus/3rd, usually in the 3rd chart, but also occurring, e.g., in the 1st, 7th, and 12th, and... In early 2019 I found a close-orbed significator for bipolar disorder, not in the typical 3rd, but in a 12th chart. Excellent progressions for two dates of occurrence of mania confirmed that that significator had been brought forefront in that chart at those times.
Asperger’s syndrome—the first of which was beautifully demonstrated in a 7th chart, has also turned out to have significators for that condition well stated in a different chart.
Significators, then, and their allowable orbs, have to be established by looking in all charts to see in which they occur strongest, making sure through progressions that they are still valid.
Orbs can be influenced by an astrology we know nothing about. Over 45 years ago when I still worked with the tropical birth chart only, I read an astrologer who set the orb for influence of the progressing sun on another planet at 10 degrees before exact. To me that seemed absurdly wide. However, the exact separation of two sidereal planets by 10 degrees produces a conjunction, square, or opposition in the 9th harmonic—a valid setwhich will express through the 7th chart—the “main chart” of this method—even though that astrologer was unfamiliar with harmonics.
A progressing sidereal sun moves approximately 5 minutes per month. Its 9th harmonic (7th chart), then moves circa 45 minutes per month. If acceptable orb for that approaching sun to affect that mars is set at 1 degree before exact, then that harmonic sun will be influencing that mars for about 1-1/4 months. For the sidereal positions of the two planets, that sun will be affecting the mars for about one year. Keep in mind that influence builds up to exact and drops off very quickly after exact.
In the lower harmonics, e.g., the 3rd, the set using that same progressing harmonic sun will be in effect longer as that sun is moving only about 15’ per month. A one degree orb allows influence for 4 months. In the higher harmonics, e.g., the 14th, that same sun as the harmonic will be moving ca. 5x14’/month, the set will last about 60/70 x 30 days, or about 25.7 days.
All of these variations in speed, along with whether or not the planet approaching is turning retrograde (and perhaps never makes it into a valid orb), make a difference in establishing orb and its duration.
When we state that valid orb is, e.g., one degree, it means one degree before and after for static planets, but only one degree and scant minutes after for a progressing set.
Suppose orb for static planet/planet is 1°. That means that in the relationship between those two planets, the one can be either one degree approaching the other or one degree leaving it, or vice versa. They can only be one degree from exact square, conjunction, or opposition from each other. There could be two planets in which one is at 89° (1° short of the ideal square between them) and the other is at 91° (1° in excess of the square) and they are not a valid set because they are two degrees from each other. The allowable orb was only one degree.
Orbs, then, are based on the situation the set is in. They depend on whether the set is static or progressed;on whether or not a light is in the set; on where in the set the light is;on whether or not the set includes a return Angle, and which light—progressed, return, or even transiting (if one has the exact time of an event) the set is organized around. “Organized around” means that in any set there is an ideal midpoint, often occupied by an Angle or light, around which the other planets fall equally within their acceptable orbs.
It helps if the astrologer has a sense of how fast a progressing or transiting planet typically moves. When looking at a software page of progressions or transits, that page does not contain, for instance, that a certain planet will be turning direct or retrograde in X number of days. This also makes a difference in how fast that planet is moving, which planets it will effect, and whether or not it will even affect them.
Or it can look like an individual is going to have a progressing harmonic saturn, never a benevolent progression though good learning may come out of it, cross over an Angle in, e.g., six years. It may also happen that that saturn turns turns retrograde before it hits the Ascendant!
Examples of all later astrology posted on this site show sets that are quite close to exact, and when they are not and considerable valid anyway, the reason is given below the set.
Taking all of the above into considerations, the following subheadings describe acceptable orb under varying conditions:
Orbs for planets in the pre-progressed (STATIC) birth/conception/harmonic chart are:
Progressed sidereal suns, which move about one degree per year, at some point near the midpoint of that same venus/jupiter “non-set” will often get them to express together. Moons, not so much, because they are moving much faster, and, in that sense, are their influence is weaker when not exact. This method constantly produces a considerable number of progressing lights, with conception progressions starting at conception (which is not known until birth, but nonetheless, becomes operative at conception). In the paper on heart disease, including infant heart disease, progressed conception lights played a role in expression of the disease which is not shown until birth.
Orbs for progressed planets are:
Orbs for planets in transit to either static or progressed planets and Angles are:
Orbs for mixing all the planets and Angles in one set, including their return,as has been found to be a valid astrology for conditions and events:
The significator for death from heart disease is Angle/sun/mars/saturn/4th/6th/8th. Below are three examples from the paper on heart disease which illustrate the established but constrained elasticity of orbs.
”Goodman’s return for death occurred on December 3, 1990 at Hamina Finland; death on January 10, 1991.
Using some of the planets in Set (29) above added to progressions and returns, we get:
|New Set (29)||pc7 moon||17 Leo 21||ruler of C MC|
|pc7 saturn||17 Leo 18R||ruler of c 4th house|
|pB Asc||17 Leo 40|
|c sun||16 Scorpio 21|
|return sun||16 Scorpio 21|
|return moon||16 Aquarius 49|
|b7 saturn||18 Aquarius 45||co-ruler (20 of 29° of b 6th house|
|b mars||16 Taurus 49|
Pc7 saturn started out at conception at 14 Virgo 55R, so it has made quite a journey to enter Set (29). In picking up Angular influence and two more lights, New Set (29) has become a complete and powerful significator for death from heart attack.”
“Let’s look at progressions and return planets for the date of her death, June 7, 2001 in Dakar, Senegal. Return date was June 6, which is return for her actual birth date of June 5. Because this is sidereal astrology, over the years returns tend to fall later and later until they fall into the next day.
Even though the two most important progressions fall respectively into Sets (31g) and (31h) above, I put everything in tables below so we can better see their influence. Because the two harmonic suns in the 7th chart are conjunct and are uniquely the degree and sign that determines all returns for all harmonics, return sun is also a valid, “new” sun for date of death.
|New Set (31h)||b7 sun||10 Scorpio 41||co-ruler (19 of 41°) of b 8th house|
|c7 sun||10 Scorpio 41|
|return7 sun||10 Scorpio 41|
|pb7 moon||10 Scorpio 46||ruler of b 8th house |
|pB MC||10 Scorpio 54|
|return saturn||11 Taurus 11|
|return7 saturn||10 Leo 37|
|pb moon||11 Leo12||ruler of b 8th house|
In the above set, the Scorpio planets are in c 4th house, the saturn in Taurus is in b 6th house, and the Leo planets are in b 8th house. The whole set as a whole set influences only an Angle and b 8th house.” (This individual still needed 4th and 8th house influence of sun/mars/saturn, which occurred.)
”Berman died on May 16, 1946, presumed New York City, His return covering the event occurred on April 26, 1946, NYC, Here are the sets in play on date of death:
|New Set (31k)||pc12 venus||21 Aquarius 13R||co-ruler (22 of 23°) of c 4th house|
|pb12 venus||21 Aquarius 41||ruler of b 6th house|
|return uranus||21 Taurus 10|
|c sun||21 Taurus 39||ruler of c 8th house|
|c12 mars||23 Taurus 20|
|b12 NN||23 Taurus 30|
|B Asc||23 Scorpio 32|
As can be seen, the set above has picked up 4th and 6th influence (not there at birth). It is the two lights in it which make the orb acceptable for a progressed set.”
Orbs exist and expression of planets are further increased by synastry since charts express as a mixture of rather fixed with ever-changing forms of electromagnetic energy (planets and their progressions) modified by the nature of the planets involved. We are, for instance, always getting lights for our planets (perhaps unlighted to begin with, or perhaps not presently lighted) from the lights and Angles of other individuals. This is much more true if we live or work closely with such individuals, and hardlytrue, but not always, with passing crowds and temporary groups. What, for instance, is the synastry (especially of lights, Angles, mars, and saturn), of a mass murderer with the individuals he kills while leaving others in the same crowd untouched? I suspect such synastry, along with the progressions/returns of the deceased individuals, is meaningful. The fact that we borrow the lights and Angles of others and vice versa is firmly established in the many papers on synastry, primarily of couples, with examples of both fortunate and unfortunate relationships. This kind of “borrowing” is not limited to married couples, but can express through parent/child, boss/employee, teacher/student, etc. It is not that we are totally unaware such things happen—if you provide a moon (square, conjunction, or opposition) for my (especially unlighted) venus, I am going to experience attraction to you through that “set” (called compound sets in synastry). At the same time, in general such sets cannot and should not be figured into progressions to condition or event in an individual’s astrology since we don’t usually know what they are. But they exist, and they make the difference exactly that we experience as attraction and repulsion and similar sets of dual feelings. And the orbs for expression are essentially the same as with static light/planet and progressed light/planet (or Angle, if that is the case).
The Return Used with This Method
This method uses nine solar returns per year, one for each time the 9th harmonic (7th chart) sun derived from the sidereal positions of both birth and conception suns reaches the same sign and position it occupied at birth and conception. In the 7th chart, and only in the 7th chart, birth and conception harmonic suns are identical.
So, if 7th chart birth and conception harmonic suns were at 9 Taurus 18, that harmonic position of the sun occurs 9 times per year, and when in exactly that position, yields the return for that approximately 40-day period. Put another way, there is a new return for exactly every 40°00’00’ from the exact position of the conception sun. If conception sun was at 2 Capricorn 33’ 12”, the next return occured at 12 Aquarius 33’ 12’, and the next at 22 Pisces 33’ 12”, and so on. These solar positions yield an exact date and time for each return for the place involved.
The sidereal position of the return planets is the same for all twelve charts. Their harmonic position vary according to the harmonic desired. For instance, if I am working with a date for the occurrence of winning the lottery, which shows up primarily in 2nd and 8th charts, then in the return covering that period of time its harmonic values will be found with the 4th (2nd chart) and 10th (8th chart) harmonics.
Each return in and by itself is not so significant. The interaction of its Angles, planets, and lights, including their harmonics for the harmonic chart in question, with sets in birth, conception, progressed, and harmonic positions for any given date is significant.
Return Angles, unlike progressed Angles which allow only a 1 degree orb, allow a planet-to-Angle orb of 2° (but closer is always stronger. It is that old problem of we are usually not working with exact birth times.) So, if birth saturn falls on return MC, that means the return is providing a temporary Angle for that saturn, and the return period of circa 40 days will show some expression of that Angle/saturn. If the individual started out with an Angle/saturn, then the return produces a temporary double Angle/saturn.
The return by itself is not interpreted. Nor is occurrence of any of its planets—or birth or conception planets--in return houses of any significance. A return can be horrendously afflicted, but if the general sense of its affliction is not also mirrored in progressed conditions, then it seldom has any impact.
Innumerable examples exist in papers posted on this site which demonstrate the correct use of return material. For example, progressions for surgery or death in the paper on heart disease often also contain return values. Here is the link to that paper: Paper on Heart Disease.
The Difference Between a Planet in a House and One Influencing a House
This distinction has proven true throughout 30 years. It may be troublesome, but it is important. Without understanding it, the astrologer learning this method will believe s/he has many more valid sets than is actually the case. This is particularly important in satisfying (or not) the definition of established significators. (The paper on pedophilia, at the beginning, further discusses planetary conditions which might appear to satisfy a significator but which do not. Here is the link to that paper: Paper on Pedophilia with Examples of Sets That Diverge from the Significators for Pedophilia.
When trying to find out which houses are influenced by a set (defined as a combination of planets connected by conjunctions, squares, or oppositions with absolutely no more than an orb of 5° with a light and 2° without one), there are several possibilities:
The reason we think planets in houses so much more influential than the above definition allows is that over the years of life they acquire expression again and again through progressed and return lights and Angles.
Placidus: C MC—29Can34, c11—2Vir, c12—27Vir, C Asc—15Lib22, c2—14Sco, c3—20Sag
B MC—3Sco27, b11—22Sco, b12—9Sag, B Asc—29Sag43, b2—27Aqu, b3—9Ari
|C MC||29 Cancer 34|
|c7 SN||26 Cancer 34|
|b7 neptune||26 Libra 09||co-ruler (30 of 41°) of b 2nd house|
|b moon||27 Capricorn 48||co-ruler (30 of 57°) of b 7th house|
Sometimes it occurs that the whole set—planets plus light—falls in one house. Or actually, with this method, it falls simultaneously in a birth and a conception house. Under those circumstances, the set’s influence includes those two houses along with houses ruled and co-ruled by the planets in that set. Here is an example, this time from the 9th chart of John Blofeld :
Placidus: C MC—29Can34, c11—2Vir, c12—27Vir, C Asc—15Lib22, c2—14Sco, c3—20Sag
B MC—3Sco27, b11—22Sco, b12—9Sag, B Asc—29Sag43, b2—27Aqu, b3—9Ari
|c venus||4 Gemini 50||ruler of C Asc in b 9th, ruler of c 8th, co-rulers of c 7th and 12th houses|
|c pluto||5 Gemini 04|
|c sun||8 Gemini 15||co-ruler (30 of 32°) of c 10th house|
|b9 jupiter||8 Gemini 31||ruler of B Asc in c 3rd house|
|b mercury||9 Pisces 20||ruler of b 6th, co-ruler (30 of 42°) b 8th houses|
|b NN||9 Pisces 36|
You might think a confirmed Taoist like Blofeld ought to have something a little more subtle to represent the Taoist path of (blending with ) The Way. And he does. In his 7th chart he has the node and mercury in Pisces shown above plus c7 jupiter at 9 Pisces 03, b7 pluto at 11 Pisces 01, and c7 venus at 13 Pisces 28. That is a golden benefic in Pisces. They get their 5th influence by falling in c 5th house and their 9th influence through c7 venus ruling C Asc in b 9th house. Their relation to NN in Pisces suggests spiritual growth (NN) through successful (venus/jupiter/Pisces) even ecstatic (golden benefice) experiences of blending (Pisces) with life in all its forms (Pisces again).
Forefront and Background
At any one time in an individual's life, his chart reading for that time consists in interpreting his forefront conditions. These, in turn, are comprised of what was forefront at birth plus what has become forefront through progressions (usually) or transits.
Basal forefront conditions always temper the interpretation of progressed ones. So, for instance, progressed Angle to jupiter in a chart starting with Angle/jupiter has a lot more favorable interpretation that does progressed/Angle to jupiter in a chart starting with an Angle/saturn. In the second case, after the progressed Angle/jupiter has passed, the individual falls again toward his Angle/saturn, while the first individual stays in an Angle/jupiter consciousness.
Forefront conditions listed in order of influence from greater to lesser (or, going from foreground to background) are :
Lights on Angles, with an approximate 5° orb.
Planets on Angles, with an approximate 2° orb for static (pre-progressed) planet/Angles, and a 1° (or preferably less) orb for progressed planet/Angles.
The following twin studies especially highlight the importance of planets on Angles: Death of One Twin, Twins Very Different From Each Other Physically and Psychologically, and .One Twin Lesbian and Sickly, Her Sister Heterosexual and Healthy.
In fact, planets on Angle are so potent that they can “override” astrological instructions contained in significator sets not on Angles but only influencing Angles through rulers. One example is from a twin study. Both twins had the proper significator set for retardation. But one twin had an all-charts (that is, non-harmonic) mercury on an Angle. Mercury on an Angle says “smart verbally and intellectually.” Of the two conditions, the mercury on an Angle prevailed (over the set just influencing an Angle through a ruler). Here is the study: One Twin Retarded, the Other Bright.
Another very interesting example is the shown by the place (found so far) of Angle/saturn/3rd in development of dementia pugilistica, shown by three boxers in the Part II paper on Alzheimer's disease. Look at the tables below the astrology for Patterson, Robinson, and Ellis. Here is that link : Paper on Alzheimer's II, Containing Astrology of Three Boxers with Dementia Pugilistica.
Another circumstance in which a planet on an Angle cancels or overrides sets only influencing an Angle occurs in women’s charts containing Angle/light/venus/neptune/5th/(7th), normally the complete significator for lesbianism. However, when in the same chart we find sun (masculine) on the Desc (partner) or sun on an Angle in a 7th house (which can occur, for instance, when sun is conjunct C MC in b 7th house , then the woman is heterosexual. That is covered in the paper on bisexuality: Paper on Bisexuality and Swingers.
Continuing with the list…
Sets anywhere in the chart which contain both a light and an Angle ruler.
The following twin study highlights the difference between a set with a light and Angle ruler and one with only a light: One Twin Retarded, the Other Normal .
Lights anywhere in the chart because they are the "lights" or "day" of our consciousness so they radiate out into expression without needing an Angle for expression. But they are definitely not as strong as they would be either on an Angle or containing an Angle ruler.
Sets which contain a light, but not an Angle ruler, are expressive because they are with a light.
Set which contain an Angle ruler, but not a light, have trouble expressing. They are not really forefront until, through transits, progressions, returns or synastry a light "enters" the set. Part of the secret of the power of synastry is that one individual, just by being who she is, can supply a light or Angle to a set in the chart of a second individual which has been background until then. So, for instance, unlighted benefics suddenly catch fire (light supplied by first individual). But it also works the other way around. An individual may have a set, for instance, mars conjunct saturn, which is without a light for which another person provides the light, suddenly bringing into consciousness the former individual's insecurity, anger, and frustration.
Least expressive are planets not on Angles and without lights. They fall into the background of the chart, having less influence on the individual's life than do foreground conditions. I will give an example using saturn in the second house in order of its decreasing importance in the individual's life:
For instance, that saturn is in birth 2nd house and conjunct a conception Angle, making it a 2nd-house Angular saturn.
It is with a light and either it or the light (or any other planet in the set) rules an Angle.
It is with a light but neither it nor the light (nor any other planet in the set) rules an Angle.
It is not with a light but it rules (or another planet in the set rules) an Angle.
It is not with a light and does not influence an Angle, nor does any other planet in the set.
The first individual above will have major issues with finances and personal possessions, while the last--though both have saturn in a 2nd house--will be far freer from such issues. The last individual in the above list will be least bothered by the poverty and financial distress usually associated with saturn in the 2nd house, but of course will experience the general meaning of saturn/2nd because of progressed and return lights and Angles.
Of course, in all the charts the four Angles, four suns, four moons, and four sets of nodes are progressing all the time, with moons usually moving the fastest, with their rate of speed dependent on which chart they are located in. They bring background planets forefront for varying durations. So do return lights (especially moons) and Angles.
In the art of astrology, the astrologer's personal flair is usually a good thing. It adds color and beauty to the chart's presentation, stirs the imagination, and is good for business. In the science of astrology, standardization is a must.
I have standardized my charts in several ways. I understand the boredom caused by too much repetition, but standardization is important. So I have put discussion of this subject in both this paper and the one entitled "Formula" (Formula For Finding Conception).
Here I mention again that birth and conception planets and cusps share the same axis. That is, presented as a form, and as experienced, there are not two charts--birth and conception--but one chart comprised of birth and conception put together and placed around one axis.
When drawing up charts at home, I quickly resorted to other standardizations. There is no software that does the complete chart. Indeed, using software, planetary data comes from four different pages (that is, the page for birth planets, the page for their harmonics, the page for conception planets, and the page for their harmonics). So, the chart used in this method have to be hand-drawn. That is not all bad--it tends to get us back to basics when we are used to software that does far more than we could do had we to do it by "hand." Along with color coding each set of planets (second paragraph below), hand drawing constantly re-affirms that the identity of each set of planets must be retained. Why must they be retained? They must because, for instance, (1) only birth planets rule birth houses (and only conception planets rule conception houses), and for another, (2) progressions for each set are distinct and done separately. So, one must at all times be able to distinguish birth planets from conception planets and their harmonics--each from each.
As can be seen from the example charts in my papers, one of the standardizations I adopted was to forego putting the Ascendant at the East (9:00 a.m.) Point of the chart. For one thing, this astrology has two Ascendants for each chart. Which would one put at the East Point? And even if I decided, for instance, to put the birth Ascendant on the East Point, is that really the best form for these charts to be presented in? It is not because it puts the signs all over the place from chart to chart--one individual might have Aries on the East point, while another has Sagittarius, and another Cancer, and so on and on. The best form for presenting, viewing, comparing, and discussing these charts is to use a blank twelve-times divided circle with the sign Aries at the East Point and the other signs following in order around the circle. That way, for each hundreds to thousands of charts I look at, I know that Aries is always at the East Point and that for each chart it is the same.
After experimenting with other ways, I resorted to the use of color codes to represent each of the four different sets of planets and their Angles and houses. Because those inks are most prevalent in stores, for Internet charts I ended up using red for conception, blue for birth, black for conception harmonics, and green for birth harmonics.
In addition to color coding, as a standardization conception planets and their harmonics are shown outside the twelve-times divided circle. Birth planets and their harmonics are put inside the circle.
There is an additional reason I want to know immediately which planet I am looking at. Harmonics of planets "progress" much faster than the planets from which they are derived. (Progressed harmonics are found first by doing ordinary secondary progressions for birth and conception. Then, depending on the harmonic desired, the harmonic is derived from those progressed positions.) Regular secondary progressions of outer planets often amount to little per individual lifetime. That is, they do not move very far, and often make few aspects to other planets or Angles during that movement. Harmonics of those progressed outer planets, however, are significant. They create conditions and significators otherwise unaccounted for. "Progressed harmonics" (actually, harmonics of progressed planets) move much faster than the planet of which they are derivative, making many more connections to other planets during any lifetime. At the same time, progressed harmonics of outer planets--either rgularly or through stationing--are moving slowly enough to stay in a set for many years, thereby changing the meaning of the set for those years.
Harmonics of progressed true nodes are also quite valuable in this astrology. They move faster than their "parent" nodes so form more aspects during a lifetime. They also station. When they do station, they may be stationing in a set that adds considerable maleficence or beneficence to the individual’s experience of her life.
Abbreviations and Other Notations
“Angles” is a common term for Midheavens and Ascendants as well as their opposition points. Their abbreviations are:
B MC = Birth Midheaven, or, progressed as pB MC
C Asc = Conception Ascendant, or, progressed as pC Asc
In abbreviating, I use “b” for birth, “c” for conception, “p” for progressed, and “t” for transiting. A number following them, e.g., “3” or “7,” shows the harmonic chart we are examining. For instance, “b7 pluto” represents the harmonic of birth pluto for the 7th chart. “Pc3 mars” is the harmonic of progressed conception mars for the 3rd chart.
For example, the 5th harmonic for the 3rd chart of progressed mars is written “pc3 mars.” Pc3 mars identifies that it is a harmonic mars derived from the sidereal position of that planet, and that it is from the fifth harmonic which is used for the 3rd chart.
Transits, return planets, and progressions all have meaningful harmonics.
The harmonic chart for a house is also called the “x chart.” For instance, the "harmonic chart for the 5th house" is also known as “the 5th chart.”
In the paper on gurus I introduced the definition of path when speaking about an astrological set. Planets in a set, the houses they are in, and houses ruled by them describe an astrological path. If, for instance—using charts of gurus—planets in a set rule 4th, 5th and 9th houses, then the 4th, 5th, and 9th houses are inextricably connected to each other. Every time, or every duration, that set is forefront those three houses (and the planets involved) determine how the set will manifest. “Success” or “failure,” determined by planets in the set, flows among those three houses.
Planets in a house may be part of a lighted set, but the house itself is not ruled by any planet in the set. Under those circumstances, the planet in the house influences that house, but that set does not influence that house. This may seem trivial, but becomes important in defining the path for a set of significators for a condition.
One example of a path involves a mercury/saturn set in the 7th chart. If, through rulership of Angles as well as house locations, it influences 3rd, 4th, 8th, and 9th houses, then it is one of the astrological conditions which sponsor (I cannot state “causes”) Alzheimer’s disease. If it lacks influence to any one of all of those houses, then it is not describing Alzheimer’s. It is describing some other condition, not even necessarily medical.
At the same time, if mercury is conjunct saturn in 3rd/4th houses, is lighted, and either influences an Angle, 8th and 9th houses, or is in the same set with other planets which influence an Angle and 8th and 9th houses, then this set also meets the condition for the significators for Alzheimer’s disease. This is because the necessary significators are already in 3rd and 4th houses, and they are in a set which also influences an Angle, 8th, and 9th houses. If the mercury/saturn under these circumstances were not in the 3rd/4th house, then their influence to those houses would have to come through rulers of the other planets in the set.
Sooner or later, all planets in a set must express. Sometimes, however, the main significance of a planet in a set is the house it rules and the planet itself, and its traditional interpretation, takes a back seat. Planets in a set in the basal chart may express all together, or closely consecutively. This all-or-none principle of operation still allows great variability in expression. For example, lighted mars/neptune may occur in the charts of drug addicts and people “addicted” to running. Each experiences this set differently. The drug addict approaches neptune (a drug high) in his set first. Over time he is back-handed more and more by mars (anxiety, pain, suffering). A runner, on the other hand, approaches mars (action, disciplined running) first. He is rewarded with neptune (a non-drug high) and further inspiration.
Also in the paper on gurus I coined terms for sets which contain the greater and lesser benefics as well as those containing the greater and lesser malefics. Respectively, golden benefic identifies any set containing light/venus/jupiter, with venus in a conjunction or square relation to jupiter, and with the set containing a planet that rules an Angle. With the opposition of venus to jupiter, even with this method, the planets tend to fight each other, not work together, and therefore the set becomes considerably less benefic, if not outright a problem. Dark malefic, applies to any set containing light/mars/saturn with the mars and saturn in any relation to each other, and with one of the planets in the set (could be others) ruling an Angle. “Angle” in either instance may be substituted for “light.” Golden benefics and dark malefics define many—but definitely not all--of the extremes of human experience, usually the best and the worst, respectively.
Golden benefics or dark malefics comprised of planets from two charts, that is, in synastry, are called, respectively, compound golden benefics and compound dark malefics.
The term fault as applied to a set is used in a geological sense. It identifies pre-progressed astrological sets which, given later progressions and/or transits, predispose the individual to a physical, emotional, or psychic experiences. Faults, by definition, exist only in the pre-progressed charts.
With this method any Angle or house cusp will have several sets influencing it because the ruler occurs both in sidereal and harmonic form. It may also be influenced by co-rulers.
In order to co-rule a house, the planet must rule at least one-third of that house.
The significators for a condition can be realized some times only through adding together several influences to the house or Angle, or even sometimes, more than one Angle. This is called a summed significator. It is necessarily weaker than one that contains all the planets in one set, but it nevertheless works.
For instance, light/venus/jupiter influencing an Angle and 2nd house in the 2nd chart are necessary for winning the lottery. Influence to the 2nd house (and an Angle) can occur in two ways. It can occur all in one set when the set contains light, venus, and jupiter, and one of those planets rules a 2nd house (and an Angle). It can also occurs as the “sum” of two sets when one set contains light and venus and the other contains light and jupiter, each of which contains a planet which rules a 2nd house (and an Angle).
In all the time I have done this astrology, except just recently, I have never used harmonics of Angles. I have not found them necessary. So, I am not sure of their relative significance. They probably work, but how much?
Compared to planets, Angles move very fast. Small errors in time of birth yield large errors in harmonic Angles. An error of four minutes in birth time yields an MC error of approximately 1°. Its harmonic for the 1st chart would be off by 3°. Its harmonic for the 12th chart would be off by 14°! Errors in harmonic Angles starting around 3° render harmonic Angles useless except when working with a rectified chart.
The following twin study shows one of the few times I have used harmonics of Angles. It was used in a study on twins born one minute apart: One Twin Drowns, the Other Lives.
This method uses a solar return that occurs every 40° 00' 00" (exactly) after birth up to death, with nine returns occurring annually. In the 7th chart, every 40° of the sidereal sun yields a conjunction of harmonic suns. At any one moment in time, basal, progressed, and return planets and their Angles all interact. The way they interact—what does and does not work—can best be learned through experience. Return Angles and even moons have small orbs, 1-2° each. I do not use the houses of the return.
Transits, especially conjunctions to return moons are clearly as strong as transits to basal or progressed moons.
In fact, transiting planets (and their harmonics, depending on the chart you are examining), but not transiting Angles, interact with all the above—the basal chart, its progressions, and the return chart. Of course, I am talking about close conjunctions (and some times oppositions and squares) with orbs of 1° or less. But, in all the time (27 years now) I have been doing this form of astrology, I have not found transiting Angles to be meaningful.
Discriminating houses within a chart from the chart itself is necessary. “The 2nd house within the 5th chart,” for instance, refers to one of two single Placidian-cusped 2nd houses within the whole 5th chart.
Here’s more on the importance of the masculinity or femininity of planets under some circumstances:
The following twin study shows the male twin autistic but his sister not because the sun, a male planet, was the only light in the significator set: One Twin Autistic, His Sister Normal.
The papers on homosexuality, lesbianism, and bisexuality also nicely illustrate the part played by masculine planets on Angles. Here are their links: Paper on Fifty Homosexual Males, Paper on Fifty Lesbian Women, Paper on Thirteen Bisexuals, and Other Sexual Significators.
For ten years I worked only with the 7th chart. As the chart that yields the conception date, and as the chart that best refers to our identity in our relations with others, it is usually primary in describing our lives. It proved to be so primary that it took me ten years to feel I must examine the other charts for validity. They, it turned out, also contained important information. Not only that, some times one of them, not the 7th, was the individual's primary chart. Whichever chart is primary, it is referred to as the center of gravity chart (COG) of the individual, with the 7th chart the "default" COG chart. Sometimes two charts seem to share COG status. Gurus usually have very strong benefic 7th chart. But they also usually have very strong benefic 9th charts. It is easy to see the reason for the strenghth of their 9th charts. Realization of 9th chart values—spirituality—is, after all, primary in their lives.
Nikola Tesla's 3rd chart was his COG. The 3rd is normally considered to contain information pertaining to our ordinary mind--its strengths and weakness. But Tesla's mind was not so ordinary. That showed in two ways in h is 3rd chart. One, the chart was exceptionally benefics--indicating a "blessed" mind. Two, those benefic sets in his 3rd chart influenced his 9th house of higher mind. His "ordinary mind" was, so to speak, usurped by his higher mind through that 9th house reference. The re-directing of ordinary mind to higher mind occus in charts of several gurus--Osho and Chariji, to give two examples. Chariji's chart is found through a link in the paper on gurus: Main Paper on Gurus. Here is the link to Osho's chart: Paper on Osho. Since he had an exceptionally beneovent and spiritual childhood, Osho's 1st chart is a second COG chart.
Homosexual significators occur most in 5th [sex] and 7th [partners] charts, the "typical charts" for those significators. But, some homosexuals realize their gender preference in childhood. Then their homosexual significator occurs most (but not exclusively) in their 1st charts.
COG charts are interesting and bear further inquiry. To even my surprise, I have found the 9th chart to be a COG chart for several individuals who life's did not appear correlated with 9th house subjects like religion, law, philosophy. My understanding of areas of life covered by the 9th house/chart had to be revised. Two subjects added were higher education involvement in languages and antiquities, and the Merchant Marine. Careful scrutiny of the lives of those individuals with surprise 9th COG charts made clear their lives were rooted in 9th house considerations. This was borne up by the 9th being the COG chart of two individuals involved with languages and antiquities--the politician Enoch Powell (in Parkinson's II paper) and John E. Boswell (in the paper on homosexuality.) Unfortunately, we often do not have enough biographical information attached to birth information to even guess at an atypical COG. Therefore, until known differently, the 7th chart is the default COG.
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