Astrological Musings

Wheel of Fortune tarot card by Nigel Jackson

A reader wrote me about the significance of the multitude of Kites, Mystic Rectangles and Yods in her chart but upon closer examination, many of these aspects involve the Part of Fortune and the Nodes of the Moon rather than planets or luminaries. Which brought up an interesting point of discussion: what really do aspects describe, and what points should be considered?

In the birthchart, the Sun represents our essential Self, the Moon our emotional nature, and the seven traditional planets each represent an aspect of our personality. The outer planets each show a mode of transformation and soul growth. Aspects, or geometric angles, between the inner and outer planets show the way the different parts of our personality work together and how they are used for the evolution of our soul. The qualities (elements and whether fixed, cardinal or mutable) of the signs that the planets fall in show the energy that is at work in each of the planets, and the aspects show the way those energies harmonize or create conflict.

Major aspects including the T-square, Grand Cross or Grand Trine describe the way the energies of the planets involve relate to each other. These create energy imbalances (squares and crosses) or loops (trines) that affect our everyday lives. Yods, Kites and Mystic Rectangles are combinations of harmonious aspects with challenging ones that describe again the way the energies of the planets alternatively conflict and harmonize to bring about personal growth.

There are many points that astrologers work with that may or may not be considered in these aspects: Chiron, other asteroids, the Moon’s nodes, fixed stars, etc. Certainly the more points are included the more aspects will be found in the chart. But do these aspects accurately describe the psychological makeup of the individual?

To me, the question to ask before including points in the calculation of aspects is this: Does the point in question operate within the soul or psyche of the individual or does it act as a point of information or a signpost?

For example, in my work I use Chiron as a regular planet, no different from Mercury or Saturn. To me, Chiron is clearly a part of the energy makeup of the individual since it’s role is to channel psychic energy through the body and it describes how the individual will react when that energy is blocked or stifled.

The Ascendant and Midheaven are not a part of the internal energy system of the individual although they do show the personality (ascendant) and public life (midheaven). The lifestyle that we choose through these points does affect our internal operations and I do look at aspects to the ascendant and midheaven.

The Nodes of the Moon are a bit trickier. These points tell a story about our evolutionary history, depicting the areas of life that come easily to us but which tend to hold us back (South Node) and the areas of life that make up our evolutionary destiny (North Node). These points are more like signposts and they don’t actually operate within the individual. While I look at these points in terms of which pieces of the chart are more karmic in nature, I would not include them in Grand Crosses or other aspects which describe psychological systems or a certain expression of psychic energy within the individual.

The same is true of the Part of Fortune or any of the 100 or so other Arabic Parts. The Arabic Parts are mathematical calculations incorporating usually three points in the chart to provide additional clues to interpretation. The Part of Fortune (or Pars Fortunae) is the only one of these in common usage today and it is commonly interpreted as an indicator of well-being and success. In my work I sometimes use it as indicating a key to integrating the birthchart, although over the years I have used it less and less since the rest of the chart does a much better job of accomplishing the same thing with much greater detail.

The Part of Fortune is like a messenger but it is not a part of the individual, and therefore, in my view, it should not be calculated with aspects denoting psychological and psycho-spiritual systems. I’d be interested to hear other opinions on this subject as I think there are many different ways to approach this.

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