Impressionistic Pisces + Symmetrical Reception

The Little House, Pierre-Auguste renoir 

I hope the current mutual generosity of Sun and Jupiter finds you well! I first heard astrologer Robert Hand use this term to describe when planets are in each other's domicile (sign or "home") but not in (Ptolemaic) aspect. When planets are in aspect and exchange signs they're in mutual reception. With Leo (Jupiter now) and Pisces (where the Sun resides until the Equinox on March 20), the signs are said to be in aversion -- meaning, they are turned away from one another and cannot see, therefore, support each other. Signs in aversion are signs that share no affinity. A mutual generosity is thought to add assistance however and lessen the lack of connection. I suspect planets in mutual generosity that are also in antiscia or contra-antiscia, for example [Jupiter in] Libra to [Venus in] Pisces, or Aries to Pisces in the instance below (especially when the aspect is applying) may be cases of perfect mutual reception. More on this in the future... 

While the Sun is in Pisces, I invite you to visit (or revisit) Deborah Houlding's stellar website and excellent resource: Skyscript. If you are new to the traditional concept of Jupiter as ruler of Pisces, I hope you'll take a moment to read about the qualities and inclinations associated with Pisces, like spirituality, impressionability, abundant creativity, boundlessness and so forth, and see how these unquestionably fall under Jupiter's domain. From Skyscript: 

"...pacifism only represents one element of Pisces' spiritual reputation. A deeper significance lies in the fact that the fish is a creature of the ocean, which since ancient times has been taken as the symbolic realm of emotional and spiritual energy that lies beneath physical existence, where all is connected and nothing moves without creating a tide of motion that pulls or pushes against another. The sea as the magna mater, the primary source, signifies the boundless essence of soulful creativity and elemental life force from which everything emerges and eventually returns. Fishes, as intrinsic parts of this fertile yet deeply mysterious realm, were regarded as sacred representations of the soul and the spiritual connection that animates society."

A Fence In The Forest

Today, February 25, marks the birthday of the prolific impressionist painter, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and I thought, while delivering monthly antiscia for March to you, I would take a moment to share an example of an upcoming contra-antiscia signature (and reception) we also find in Renoir's natal chart.

This planetary combination will occur March 4-5, when Venus in Aries reflects the Sun in Pisces. The contra-antiscion aspect (one of shared ascensional time) in Renoir's chart is applying, and so may be a perfect reception, and this particular reception is connecting planets to their places of exaltation: Sun connects to Venus in innovative and pioneering Aries (the Sun's exaltation), Venus connects to the Sun in romantic and inspired Pisces (Venus' exaltation). See Renoir's chart below. 

In his chart we also find Neptune, a planet of all things nebulous, placed dramatically on an angle: rising (see his chart on Astro Data Bank), and sitting at the all important 15 degree fixed point of Aquarius. These fixed points in the zodiac fall at the halfway point (or midpoint) of the 0 degree points of the cardinal signs (seasonal turning points), and, like planets in antiscia, they are strongly tied to the cardinal (world) axis. 

In addition to these planetary statements, you will notice while there are two planets in so-called detriment (Venus in Aries and Mercury in Pisces, also the sign of Mercury's fall) they disposit to two essentially dignified rulers: Mars in Scorpio and Jupiter in Sagittarius. In fact, all planets in Renoir's chart disposit to planets in their own homes! 

le poste at cagnes study

Hope you've enjoyed the more obscure and abstract landscape paintings I found by Renoir! See more than a thousand of his works here.. ( about abundance!) 

See the complete list of monthly antiscia for March.   

Antiscia in the Thema Mundi

Most astrologers regard antiscia and contra-antiscia as a second-rate aspect; a connection that may have merit, but certainly comes after the general "Ptolemaic" five (conjunction, sextile, square, trine, opposition) in relevance and strength. I believe this exclusion may be in error, especially with degree-based connections.

In the diagram below I have arranged the planets in their places of exaltation and noted how those places connect to each planets' own domiciles. You can see both benefics, Venus and Jupiter, connect to one of their respective antiscia or contra-antiscia signs (known as seeing and hearing signs to the ancients). Each of the malefics (and Mercury) connects to one of its domiciles by square. The lights, Sun and Moon, connect by trine and sextile to their domiciles, which sets up a schema (diurnal = trine, nocturnal = sextile) for the other shared aspects: nocturnal planets Venus and Mars connect to their other domicile by sextile, and diurnal, Jupiter and Saturn, connect by trine. The shared square and antiscia aspects are obvious, and I believe meaningful. 

I hypothesize that aspects by antiscia are as powerful as other aspects, especially those in close degree-based situations. Like with the square, connections by antiscia and contra-antiscia cross boundaries and combine gender (female/male, yin/yang, passive/active, night/day). This makes the pairs dynamic and alive in the world, much like we see with a square. They are combinations that demand attention. We must do something with them. This co-mingling of gender along with the symmetry around the four seasonal turning points, or cardinal axis (see other articles), to me, is indicative of a very potent pairing, an energetic alliance that can be easily observed and/or experienced. 

"the cardinal points relate people to the world at large" 
 -Charles Jayne, crediting Alfred Witte

The antiscia connection here could also be viewed as a quincunx aspect, but it is undoubtedly relevant that the two exhibited are indeed an antiscia (seeing) and contra-antiscia (hearing) link. The ancients regarded these relationships as having sympathy and reception, and these are in fact signs which share equal daylight (antiscia) and ascensional or rising time (contra-antiscia).    

“And so, if any stars do not aspect each other in the orderly arrangement of the nativity, it must be inquired whether they are connected to each other by the associated aspect of antiscions. For when they have sent their antiscions thus, they are connected with each other through their antiscions just as [much as] by a trine or square or opposition or sextile aspect...”
-Julius Firmicus Maternus, 4th century astrologer 
in Book 2 Chapter 30 of the Mathesis (Holden translation, 2011)

“Signs that are disjunct but having sympathy for each other are all the equal-rising signs, and those having equal power, and those of like zone. For example, equal-rising are Aries and Pisces, Gemini and Capricorn, Cancer and Sagittarius, Virgo and Libra; of equal power are Gemini and Cancer, Virgo and Aries, Libra and Pisces, Sagittarius and Capricorn; of like zone are Taurus with Libra, Aries with Scorpio. 

...with the joint risings of the signs and the joint ascensions of the stars...
friendships and sympathies of men and women, and parents and brothers, and friends and slaves.”

-Rhetorius of Egypt, 6th or 7th century, Ch.16 (Holden translation, 2009)

The presence of these aspects in the planetary rulership and dignity schema (arising from the Thema Mundi) is an important reality which should not be dismissed or denied. It seems there is much more to uncover with antiscia! 

Share your thoughts or leave a comment if you like. 

(Updated: 12.12.14) 

A Course on Symmetry @ Kepler College

This upcoming semester at Kepler College I will be teaching a 5-week course on how to apply symmetrical astrology to natal charts. The course is designed for astrologers who would like to incorporate some basic symmetrical techniques into their practice. It is scheduled to begin on October 15th. This course is open to anyone with the enthusiasm to take it, though a basic understanding of astrology, including use of transits, secondary progressions, and solar arc directions is recommended. Contact me here with questions or to receive updates! 

Lecture in Ashland, Oregon

I am pleased to announce I will be giving a talk on symmetry at the Southern Oregon chapter of the NCGR (National Council for Geocosmic Research) on May 19, 2014 at 7:00pm. 

Symmetry in Steps of the Sun : Applying Antiscia

"The sun animates and supports all life on earth. The cardinal axis (i.e., the solstice and equinox points) thus in a sense becomes a living, breathing expression of the divine spark in matter. Antiscia and contra-antiscia are symmetrical arrangements around the cardinal axis. Planets and points in antiscion form an alliance that comes alive in the world. Observed for at least two thousand years, these connections and statements of affinity offer insight into the hidden qualities of each zodiac sign by illuminating its two partner signs. The word antiscia comes from the Greek “scia,” which means shadow, and ant, meaning “opposite.” Antiscia reveal a dialogue between planets, making them a simple and powerful tool in chart delineation and in compatibility and timing applications as they enhance understanding of relationships with others and the world around you. Please join us for what will be a very inspiring evening."

nothing lasts forever, or does it

"The ability to create inner happiness in dark hours."


Sabian symbol 09 Taurus : A Fully Decorated Christmas Tree


Saturn Node midpoint (severed or 'serious' connections) = the eclipse 


Venus approaching height of exaltation (@ 26 Pisces here) At the midpoint of Uranus and Neptune = otherworldly love

Anything that is strange and beautiful but not expanded and visionary may need to be released now. 


Also Mars Neptune midpoint (passionate misdirection, weakness, or inspired action) = the eclipse and close to Venus




    Forgive or forget.






-brought to you by a solar eclipse @ 09 Taurus



The only celebrity I follow on Twitter has gone away. I am sad. I liked her style and designs.  

There is an occultation tonight; the asteroid Erigone will pass in front of one of the brightest stars in the sky: Regulus. I don't find this a coincidence. Regulus, among the four Royal stars, pertains to fame and honors, and Erigone, discovered on April 26, 1876, was named for one of the two Erigones in Greek mythology. The story of Erigone knocked me out of my seat: 

Erigone, in Greek mythology, daughter of Icarius, the hero of the Attic deme (township) of Icaria. Her father, who had been taught by the god Dionysus to make wine, gave some to several shepherds, who became intoxicated. Their companions, thinking they had been poisoned, killed Icarius and buried him under a tree. Erigone, guided by her dog Maera, found his grave and hanged herself on the tree. Maera jumped into a well and drowned. Dionysus sent a plague on the land, and all the maidens of Athens, in a fit of madness, hanged themselves. Icarius, Erigone, and Maera were set among the stars as Boötes (or Arcturus), Virgo, and Procyon (Canis Minor, the Lesser Dog); to propitiate Icarius and Erigone, the festival called Aiora (the Swing) was instituted. During this festival various small images (Latin oscilla) were swung from trees, and offerings of fruit were made.

This occultation will be visible to the naked eye, which is very rare, and will last for fourteen seconds. The "ground-track" (locations in which it can be seen) is a 67-mile wide path that runs from the north Atlantic, through the New York metropolitan area, and up into Canada. Again, no coincidence. This is the language of the stars. 

reclaiming the apocalypse

Antoni Tapies, Grey and Green Painting 1957 © Foundation Antoni Tapies, Barcelona/ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2002

The meaning of the word apocalypse has been unfairly disfigured. It has been hijacked by monotheistic religions, with their linear constructs and notions of time. Most people have come to think of End Times when they hear the term. This is quite unfortunate, because I think much of what is in the news right now is incredibly apocalyptic, and that is not a bad thing, but (from my perspective) quite a good thing in many ways. Certainly it is worth observing. 

From wikipedia:  "An apocalypse (ἀποκάλυψις, meaning 'un-covering'), translated literally from Greek, is a disclosure of knowledge, i.e., a lifting of the veil or revelation..."

However, if you look up apocalypse in most dictionaries you will find: 


  • 1 (often the Apocalypse) the complete final destruction of the world, especially as described in the biblical book of Revelation. See also Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
  • (the Apocalypse) (especially in the Vulgate Bible) the book of Revelation.
  • an event involving destruction or damage on an awesome or catastrophic scale: a stock market apocalypsean era of ecological apocalypse


        Old English, via Old French and ecclesiastical Latin from Greek apokalupsis
         from apokaluptein 'uncover, reveal', from apo- 'un-' + kaluptein 'to cover'

Noteworthy BBC radio program:  In Our Time, The Apocalypse. Melvyn Bragg examines how a powerful narrative of judgement and retribution evolved.

I don't think many would disagree, given the original meaning of the word, that we are swimming in apocalyptic revelations this season. My friend and fellow astrologer Frederick Woodruff teases me with the phrase Apocalyptic Chic, to describe this time and I a bit of an obsession noting all of its seemingly related unfoldments. If you're interested in the astrology of it, I have a few observations to share below. Last month, I wrote a brief piece when I was feeling the deep rumblings, or rather this thing emerging with a striking yet essential quality about it, via current affairs. The post was titled Truth

Everywhere I turn, every morning I wake, it seems there's another big, strange announcement in the news. This morning the radio woke me with the FDA finally taking seriously the disease producing reality of trans-fats, declaring these partially hydrogenated oils to be no longer 'generally recognized as safe.' Did it need to take this long? I guess so. You can't rush the unfolding I suppose. (I have always avoided these and had a very bad feeling about how much more harmful they are than was admitted.) Fukushima, another obviously hot topic (literally) - and likely still hotter than many will admit, seems to be taken a bit more seriously now. Emerging on BBC, CNN, and the other main news sources, it is at least accepted that this "disaster remains a giant, unresolved mess." Still, some want to minimize it. On Tuesday, I-522, a bill for labeling GMOs, was not passed here in my home state. But as a friend and nutritionist Stephanie Gailing points out, the fact that it didn't pass may bring even greater attention to it at this time. And then there is the Comet ISON; Meteors falling from the sky; jellyfish taking over the oceans; major solar flares and threat of a blackout; and now a super typhoon. What next? 

With news like this, I can't help but think of my friend and teacher, Gary Christen, who is quite fond of the quote: 

"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."
    --Arthur Schopenhauer, philosopher (1788 - 1860) 

The astrology certainly speaks to the time; as does the astronomy, for that matter (as you can see in heliocentric maps, from the sun's perspective, below). We are living in a very interesting cycle or transitional time. I think more than anything I find some comfort in the fact that much can be observed through the language of the stars. Whether we can make an absolutely accurate prediction about some matter is less important to me. What is important is context, and we're being given a lot of context right now. From here we can work out or imagine potential interpretations and scenarios, or we can simply observe. 

So now I'll barrage you with technical info. For those as nerdy as me, I've included many charts, beginning with the next lunation chart, followed by the chart for the original Fukushima Nuclear Disaster. On another page, you can find charts for the recent eclipse, as well as antiscia for November which includes Mars Uranus, and Saturn arriving on the cardinal axis (15 fixed/Scorpio is the midpoint of the start of two cardinal signs). I welcome others' comments and reflections below!

Note the degree of Algol (25/26 Taurus) emphasized in the upcoming lunation: a Full Moon on November 17th at 25°26 Taurus. Neptune sets with Chiron in both Japan's lunation chart and the 2011 disaster chart, interesting given the subject matter and the lack of transparency around it. 

     Full Moon runs with Algol - Saturn on cardinal axis 





Full Moon in Washington DC - Uranus Pluto emphasized again as it was at eclipse  +  as is Mercury Node (more revealed)

Mars Saturn antiscia + Uranus on Aries point

Note the degree of the Midheaven. By secondary progression it has moved to 24'06 Taurus.

Polar Azimuthal map of world at time of incident. 

Mars Saturn antiscia and Uranus came to zero Aries on the day of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
(The Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami occurred the day before; Uranus was at 29°58 Pisces.)

The Polar Azimuthal map on the right shows the world from a pole view at the time of the incident. It also allows us to see what planets will be in paran for the day. This map is a dynamic feature of Nova Chartwheels, and can't be properly conveyed through a snapshot. The blue arrow points to the star Algol (shown by the second little black dot), and it indicates Algol was pretty much directly overhead at the time of the disaster. The declination for Algol is +40.57' which is the latitude for northern parts of Japan (as well as many other countries). Importantly however, Uranus, which was sitting directly on the Aries point that day (world axis point), was in paran with Algol; when Algol set, Uranus was angular on the Nadir. I find this interesting given the upcoming lunation occurs at the projected ecliptic degree of Algol. Maybe it simply underscores that this event and situation has come to light in a powerful way, and is of huge concern globally. I do find it interesting that the planned start for the decommissioning process is mid-November around the time of the Full Moon. 

Another thing brought to my attention via Gary Christen and Arch Crawford is the heliocentric perspective of planetary confluences for the month. Astrologers have been quite focused on the Uranus Pluto squares (we've just passed the 4th of 7), and yes ! they are a very big deal for everyone. When we observe astrological phenomena we are taking it in through the earth's perspective (geocentrically). We look at the transits, noting events and mundane affairs, and interpret planetary compositions in personal ways or on a psychological level through our own charts. The Mercury retrograde cycle joining Saturn and the Node, and the Sun and Moon at the eclipse, for instance has been quite profound. It speaks to these themes of knowledge revealed, uncovering, and revelations in undeniable ways. 

The heliocentric perspective offers another layer maybe. One that is off planet; possibly, and probably, at least it feels this way, totally out of our control. In Christen's words, helio "becomes important for large scale changes on the earth, kind of like the cardinal axis in so far as larger events that go on. . . it will reflect large scale changes in and dispositions of the markets." Because from the sun's point of view planets are always moving forward, never turning retrograde, when an aspect perfects, it only does so once. The upcoming one heliocentric Uranus Pluto square (on November 23) then seems something exceptional to note.  

At nearly the same time (within a week+) Jupiter joins the picture (Nov 12/13), making an opposition to Pluto and square to Uranus - and so creates a T-square - which occurs when UR PL are within only 03 minutes (not degrees!) of exactitude.  Jupiter Pluto = Uranus  
Meanwhile, on the same day Mars perfects in square with Saturn.

Christen emphasizes the rarity of this alignment, saying "there is no precedent for this in history. . .You cannot find anything heliocentrically that has a T-square within 5 minutes of arc of perfection. . ." Crawford says the same in a video post. Both think it has to do with solar flares: "a mammoth disturbance in the solar system," potentially frying our electric grid, leading to big big problems that would not be quick to fix. Or, as Christen suggests, because on the 13th the Earth (brown globe) is not involved, it could be "a mammoth flare that may graze the earth, but probably will do other damage in the solar system that will be observable. . . we'll see." I think the timing given other factors I've been examining is mind-boggling.

Track solar flares in real time @ NOAA here.  

HELIO Jupiter Pluto opposition + Uranus square -- at the same time: Mars Saturn perfect in square

On 90 degree dial - emphasis on exactitude of aspectual connection 


Whatever might happen I recommend being prepared as you would for an earthquake, just in case: extra water, food, warmth, and cash in your home.



Venus comes to Uranus, Nov 9, around 10pm est 
(Ve joins the t-square before Ju Ur Pl perfects) 

NOV 12/13
Jupiter comes to Uranus, Nov 12, 10:30pm est
(Mars is applying by 27 min to Saturn) 
Jupiter comes to Pluto, Nov 13, 3:20pm est
(Ma app 09 min to Sa) 
Mars comes to Saturn, Nov 13, 11:59pm est
(Ju+Ur=Pl picture: 02/03 min exact) 

NOV 23
Uranus perfects square to Pluto, Nov 23, 7am est
(Ju is less than 1 deg (45min arc) out of T-square)
Also, per Arch Crawford, Mars/Earth = Pl [Ur]


Be well. 
And be in touch! 


'Critical degree'

'Critical degree'