A Global View of Astrology : Antiscia
Planets in antiscia are relevant for everyone.
If you would like to read a couple of in-depth articles on antiscia, outlining its historical roots and relevance, I recommend a piece by Darrelyn Gunzburg and one by Deborah Houlding on Skyscript.
But simply put: antiscia, like shadows, are points reflected symmetrically around the cardinal axis. The cardinal axis is made up of the zero-degree (starting) point of each of the four cardinal signs: Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn. These points mark the start of the seasons at the summer and winter solstice and the spring and fall equinox. An antiscion is the precise reflection of a body or sensitive point across one of the two cardinal axes, Cancer/Capricorn or Aries/Libra.
Because antiscia are reflections across the cardinal axis (an axis marking the turning of the seasons) and because all living things respond to and interact with seasonal shifts, the cardinal axis is an axis or point we all share. Therefore planets in antiscia and contra-antiscia are thought to be felt, or experienced by all.
While my monthly list of antiscia highlights what is on the cardinal axis right now - meaning in a mundane sense: an aspect for the world - it is also quite useful to note transiting antiscional points (to natal planets) in one's own birth chart.With the example images above, Venus and Saturn are antiscia (left) and contra-antiscia (right) to one another. We can begin by asking what Venus with Saturn means? Love, creativity, beauty, and affection meets a need for structure, discipline, and practicality. Saturn cools Venus down; it solidifies, constricts, or focuses Venus' significations. Then we ask- how might this play out in world events or for us personally? On a more personal level we may ask ourselves: is it time to consider getting more serious about something we love, make a stronger commitment - or, is it indicative of a cooling off period, a time to separate or say goodbye to something we had previously been attached? How much do we need? What's truly important? If Venus wants to create something of beauty or enjoy something, Saturn prefers it be realistic, truthful, that it be enduring, and have real world merit.
I believe working proactively with planetary antiscia combinations can be a good way to harness the energy of the day. It can also be a great way to learn, both about astrology and life in general. In addition to the list of antiscia I post, I will periodically delineate planetary pairs. But, even without my delineation, you can use the list by simply considering what the two planets in connection mean.
Some good reference books for help with planetary pairs and keywords include:
The Combination of Stellar Influences by Reinhold Ebertin
Rules for Planetary Pictures by Alfred Witte
Horoscope Symbols by Robert Hand
It takes practice to begin seeing planets in antiscia in a regular chart like the one below. Because antiscia and contra-antiscia are reflections across the cardinal axis, we count degrees opening from the zero cardinal points to find connections. For instance, 25 degrees Cancer is the reflection of 5 degrees Gemini, and 12 degrees Aries is the reflection of 18 degrees Virgo. As you can imagine, this is sometimes tricky to discern right away. To do this quickly, it is much easier to utilize software. Morinus offers a free open-source program which does the calculations for you. And I will show you here how to easily find points in antiscia and contra-antiscia using two other programs.
Using Jimi Hendrix as an example, let's examine the planets antiscia and contra-antiscia in his birth chart.
As you can see in the chart to the left, planets in antiscia don't necessarily pop out at you. With repetition you will know that all fixed signs are always antiscia and contra-antiscia to one another, and cardinal signs are always antiscia/contra-antiscia to mutable. See the diagram on my worksheet page. However, I recommend working with degree-based connections and small orbs, not just the whole signs.
In the case of Hendrix, we see early degrees of mutable Gemini and Sagittarius occupied, as well as late degrees of cardinal Cancer. This draws my attention immediately, since I know that Gemini and Cancer are connected by antiscia, and Cancer and Sagittarius by contra-antiscia. Next we would need to figure out if these are close enough connections to be very strong. The closer the orb the better!
[I recommend less than 2 degrees, and I prefer less than 1 degree.]
My favorite program for working with charts in a symmetrical way (midpoints, aspects, antiscia, planetary pictures, etc.) is Nova Chartwheels below. Here, the connections are so clearly visible they nearly leap out at you. Nova also offers a list of antiscia by sign and degree for every planet and sensitive point in the chart. This is very helpful when considering transits or connections across charts in synastry and so forth.
When we examine Hendrix's chart we see the Sun is posited at 4 degrees 50 minutes Sagittarius, and Jupiter sits at 24 deg 51 min Cancer; this is roughly 5 Sagittarius and 25 Cancer. Looking at the list of antiscia (above) we see the reflection for the Sun is 25+ Capricorn (an opposition to Jupiter in Cancer), and Jupiter's reflection is 5+ Gemini (opposite the natal Sun position in Sagittarius). Oppositions in the list reflect contra-antiscia. With the case of his Moon Uranus connection, we see the antiscion points are conjunct the natal placements - roughly 2 degrees Gemini and 28 Cancer respectively.
The software Solar Fire is shown to the right and below. With this program you can make antiscia charts, then utilize an outer wheel to examine antiscia and contra-antiscia around the natal chart - just as you would when looking at transits or synastry charts. Here, antiscia/contra-antiscia connections look like conjunctions (highlighted in pink).
Summary for Hendrix
An alternate way to find antiscia in Solar Fire is to use the Aries Point in the chart. You will then search under Reports in the side panel and look under Midpoint Trees. There you will find all of the symmetrical openings (antiscia) around the Aries Point. Make sure to change your Modulus to 90'00.