Differentiating meanings of individual angles

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Jim Eshelman
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Differentiating meanings of individual angles

Post by Jim Eshelman » Sun May 07, 2017 8:44 pm

[From Interpreting Solar Returns, pp. 26-27.]

THE MERIDIAN (fourth/tenth-house cusp axis) pertains to very personal, individualizing factor within the person, probably deeply rooted in his or her sense of identity. Identity, in fact, is the fundamental key word of the meridian, in the sense of awareness of what constitutes "I" within each of us. There is also a relationship between the meridian and authority.

More specifically, the Midheaven is connected with public authority. This means either one's own authority exercised in a public sphere, outside of the home, i.e., one's public identity, or the authority one acknowledges in an outerworld "superior" (employer or "the authorities," for instance; or, to a child, one of the parents). The Midheaven fundamentally signifies the unfolding of a personal sense of direction, the outcome of which is to be more truly and fully oneself, so in natal astrology it is most definitely the key to identity as measured by outerworld standards In Solar Returns, it characteristically pinpoints circumstances affecting one's experience of "highness" (prestige, prominence, culmination). Reputation and status are often involved, because one's career is a frequent (though not exclusive) area of manifestation. For a public figure, it can reveal the overall tone of one's interaction with the public.

At the lower extreme... we find the IC (Imum Coeli), or Lower Heaven, the most personal, private focal point of awareness in a horoscope. Privacy is clearly the basic key word of this angle. Though, due to their angularity, planets on the fourth cusp are highly expressive keynotes of the [chart] in question,the realm of manifestation is within emotional (if not physical) close quarters to home. The IC is usually considered the weakest, least important angle, but I think its effects are simply more private and therefore hidden from the casual observer. Domestic concerns, property, family and other resources may all be affected if we feel a need to look for specific outer manifestations. What seems more important to me, however, is the orientation to one's roots, the profound sense of inner self, and a reinvestment of energy into the psychic foundations of life. Sometimes the inward-turning brings about a re-evaluation of priorities; or ongoing decisions at a subconscious level can emerge into consciousness. As a result of either, an emphasized Lower Heaven [in a solunar return chart] may indicate a major cycle shift ("the beginning and end of the matter," as the old books called it)...

Relationships and interactions with the environment are fundamentally shown by THE HORIZON of the astrological map. Personal relationships are composed of two parts: oneself and some "other," shown by the two ends of the horizon axis - respectively, the Ascendant and Descendant. Squares to the horizon aspect both the Ascendant and Descendant, thereby specifically describing the interaction of Self with Other, i.e., relationships per se.

The Ascendant signifies one's experience of oneself in the process of interrelating with another. This projected self-image is how we extend ourselves to others. While the Ascendant is one of the two most important angles (the MC being the other), I believe it has been misunderstood by those astrologers who think of fit as "self," existing in a vacuum, devoid of the balance of "other." Selfhood is a function of the entire horoscope, expressed primarily through the Sun and meridian, whereas the Ascendant implicitly signifies the existence of relationship.

Rather than the traditional "I Am" interpretation, the rising angle can perhaps best be rendered "I Do," especially in return charts. It indicates experiential participation. Though the Sun rising in a natal or return chart can be interpreted as self-interest, since the Sun always indicates primary focus of attention, the Ascendant by itself can be thought of more purely as meaning self-involvement.

Contrary to this, the Descendant, when involved in an angularity emphasis, signifies an others-consciousness - an increased focal awareness on other people - and the way we choose to experience other people. Bradley suggested cooperation and competition as polar keynotes designating the Descendant's attributes. I can think of no better summary. The fundamental principle of the retiring angle is focus of attention away from self, thus to others. This accounts very nicely with the traditional (and apparently valid) association of the Descendant with death, since death is the passing out of existence, or setting aside, of selfhood in the sense that it s represented by the horizon. The fundamental symbolism, however, is not explicitly that of death but of any instance of stepping outside of the highly specialized and particularized selfhood which differentiates one incarnated individual from another.
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Jim Eshelman
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Re: Differentiating meanings of individual angles

Post by Jim Eshelman » Sun May 07, 2017 8:45 pm

Freya wrote:What is the role of the vertex, anti-vertex, polar ascendant and coascendant? Are they as significant as the traditional angles?
The last two are easy: They don't even represent actual astronomical realities. I suggest ignoring them. (Admittedly, I never did understand what Mike Munkasey was up to.)

"...as significant as the traditional angles..." That's the key phrase. I can answer that one with No. However, the Vertex "family" of angles (Vertex, Antivertex, Northpoint, Southpoint) are significant in a particular way. I use them in natals and Solar Returns, but not in Lunars (they just don't seem relevant in the short-term Lunar Returns).

I have a whole talk that I gave back in the '70s on the topic - but I'll try to briefly.

My first clue to the meaning of the Vertex was Charles Jayne's insistence that it referred to "fated" events. I don't believe in "fated" events - events arise out of our character and choices. After some reflection, I realized that "fated events" mean "events not consciously caused," with roots that are more unconscious, more likely to blind-side you.

This suddenly made a lot of sense, especially since the Vertex is the one part of the angle-set that can fall outside of the Foreground area (proximate to the Horizon and Meridian), so the Vertex, at the very least, has no inherent connection to consciousness, manifestation, etc.

This principle has served me very well with the Vertex for the last 30+ years. One way to see some good examples: Look for people who have planets conjunct the Antivertex (Ascendant-side) within 3 degrees (especially when the planet is outside the Foreground zone of the chart). You'll see that people routinely enact that planet as a basic expression of their personality and everyone around them sees it, but they don't! For example, I'm thinking of someone with Uranus on the Antivertex who is the proverbial "bull in the china shop," going through life stirring things up and destabilizing situations almost as easily as he walks through the room - but he doesn't see it!

The Northpoint and Southpoint BTW are the two ecliptical squares to the Vertex.
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Re: Differentiating meanings of individual angles

Post by Jim Eshelman » Sun May 07, 2017 8:46 pm

I meant to add yesterday -

In the late '70s or early '80s I started a book called The Eastpoint, Vertex & Other Angles. I got about half of it written and shelved it. The completed sections (which encompass Ascendant, Descendant, Midheaven, IC, Eastpoint, and Westpoint) are IMHO some of the best astrological writing I've ever done, and, at the very least, they should be published someday. Maybe I can find the time to write the rest of the book, but at least I could round out the Ascendant Family with the Zenith and Nadir, and get that part in circulation.

Anyway, my overall view on this is that there are three "families" of Angles - the Midheaven, Ascendant, and Vertex families - and that they each have a distinctive "family characteristic" (totally consistent with what we've seen in Cosmobiology-type works where M and A can be treated as a single unit on a 90 degree dial). Within each of these families are four angles that have (just for sake of simple labelling) what we might call a 1st, 4th, 7th, and 10th house theme within the particular context of the "family traits." These 12 angles are:

MIDHEAVEN FAMILY - Eastpoint, IC, Westpoint, Midheaven
ASCENDANT FAMILY - Ascendant, Nadir, Descendant, Zenith
VERTEX FAMILY - Antivertex, Northpoint, Vertex, Southpoint

There is a psychological modelling tool that became very popular in the '70s in family therapy and other psychological circles called Johari's Grid. It's pretty simple - just a 2 x 2 grid (a box subdivided into four quarters) broken down as follows: (1) left column is "Not Known to Self," (2) right column is "Known to Self," (3) top row is "Known to Others," (4) bottom row is "Not Known to Others." This gives four combinations:

KNOWN TO SELF, KNOWN TO OTHERS: This is PUBLIC. This is the theme of the Ascendant Family.
KNOWN TO SELF, NOT KNOWN TO OTHERS: This is PRIVATE. This is the theme of the Midheaven Family.
NOT KNOWN TO SELF, KNOWN TO OTHERS: This is UNCONSCIOUS. This is the theme of the Vertex Family.
NOT KNOWN TO SELF, NOT KNOWN TO OTHERS: This is UNKNOWN and irrelevant to the rest of the conversation. :D

Now, there are fine points to be clarified. For example, people might say, "Wait a minute, the Midheaven is really public, why are you calling it private?" In catching the essential core idea, it's important to understand the Midheaven set overall as personal, "I," etc., in contrast to the Ascendant which is contextual, relationship, etc. Within the MC idea (the Meridian idea overall), there is public (MC) vs. private (IC) distinction, but the whole of it is more private and personal than the world-showing Horizon ideas. I already developed some of these ideas openly in Interpreting Solar Returns, and have reproduced it here: http://solunars.net/viewtopic.php?f=18& ... &sk=t&sd=a
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Re: Differentiating meanings of individual angles

Post by Jim Eshelman » Sun May 07, 2017 8:47 pm

Freya wrote:Hi Jim, thank you for your interesting post, what you say rings true. Regarding the not known to self nor to others, could this be the hidden forces running through somebody's life, i.e. the sanchita karma that one has taken on for this incarnation which creates the uncontrollable events in our lives, the ones that no one, not even us knows why they happen, the events in which we ask ourselves "why me?" and others say to themselves "why her/him? She/he was such a wonderful person, he/she didn't deserve this!" like we often hear on the news after a tragedy of some sort.

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Re: Differentiating meanings of individual angles

Post by Jim Eshelman » Sun May 07, 2017 8:49 pm

Danica wrote:
johariwindowmodeljkwebr1.jpg
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Re: Differentiating meanings of individual angles

Post by Jim Eshelman » Sun May 07, 2017 8:50 pm

SteveS wrote:
Jim wrote:Though, due to their angularity, planets on the fourth cusp are highly expressive keynotes of the [chart] in question,the realm of manifestation is within emotional (if not physical) close quarters to home. Domestic concerns, property, family and other resources may all be affected if we feel a need to look for specific outer manifestations.
For the past year or so I have been dealing with a very convoluted/ confusing situation with my Mother’s slowly deteriorating health condition. Transiting Neptune was exactly conjunct my Natal IC March 9th 2012, Sept 8th 2012, and Jan 9th 2013. My Mother’s Natal Sun (no time of birth) is partile conjunct my Natal IC, so we can see this same t. Neptune has been partile conjunct her Natal Sun.

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Re: Differentiating meanings of individual angles

Post by Jim Eshelman » Sun May 07, 2017 8:51 pm

From http://www.solunars.net/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=17 on Neptune to IC:
Chance to explore your psychological and spiritual roots. Emotionally sensitive, vulnerable. Matters rise to consciousness involving early life. If not confronted: possible childish behavior, dependence, increased security needs, despair. Emotions interfere with practical affairs.
From http://solunars.net/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=3#p5 for the same aspect:
This is a chief opportunity to explore the psychological basis of your mind. Fundamental matters rise to consciousness, especially involving parents and early life. When faced, these grant insight into your motivations and actions. You may choose, however, not to face them, giving these irrational, emotional parts of you temporary dominance. Some clues that you are not taking best advantage of the time are childish behavior, dependence, increased security needs, feelings of despair or hopelessness. Frustration can result from emotions and prejudices getting in the way of practical affairs. Introversion is natural, since the emphasis is rightly on self-exploration and reencountering your past; but balance this by opening more to your intimates, sharing your realizations. Ground your inner work with practical action to make a sound, permanent difference in your life.
Jim Eshelman
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