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ASTROLOGICAL TECHNIQUES EXPLAINED
Precession does not apply to charts in the Sidereal Zodiac. If a chart in the Tropical Zodiac is precession-corrected, allowance is made for the slow backward movement of the Equinoxes. This means that the ° ' " of the Sun increase slightly every year in accordance with the Precession (which is about one degree in 71 years). By using precession-correction you maintain the true position of the Sun in the Heavens but its reading in ° ' " is always slightly ahead of the Natal reading.
If you want the ° ' " of the Sun in Solar Returns (whether Monthly or Yearly) to remain the same as the Natal reading don't use precession-correction. I have tried both methods over a long period and find that the precession-corrected Charts are much more indicative of events. (The same applies to Lunar Returns.)
The Solar-Month Chart (or Figure) is like a Solar Return Chart in that it is set for the time when the Sun transits the degree, minute and second that it had in the Annual Solar Return but in a subsequent Sign. For example, if the Sun's position is 26Sc46'31" in the SR the next Solar-Month Chart would be at 26Sg46'31", and the next at 26Cp46'31", and so on for the remainder of the Solar Year.
I have found the Solar Month Chart to be the most generally useful of all the Return-type Charts in predictive work. Interpret it as you would a Solar Return remembering it applies only for a month, not a year.
In Solar Fire you simply go to Sun, "Advanced and Ingress" and set the figure "12" in the Harmonic box (in effect you are then getting the chart of a month). They are not truly harmonics, but a convenient method of setting the function.
Set for Precession unless you want the non-precessed chart.
A Weekly Chart was sometimes called a Quarti-Lunar. It follows from a Lunar Return Chart and is set for the time when the Moon reaches the square or opposition of its place in the Lunar Return.
For example, If the Moon's position is 21Aq49'39", its Weekly Charts will start when the Moon reaches the same degree, minute and second in the Signs Taurus, Leo and Scorpio.
In Solar Fire go to Moon and set the figure "4" in the Harmonic Box.
Stations of the Planets
When Stationary planets form a conjunction or close Aspect with Significators in the Radix they are powerful influences, much more so than when the transiting planet is moving at its normal orbital speed.
To get the Stations (i.e., when the planets turn Retrograde and Direct) in an exclusive list go to the opening screen of Solar Fire and continue as below:
Click on Dynamic, then Transits and Progressions.
- In Start Date write e.g., 23 Oct 1970, and the period that interests you, e.g., 1 year.
- Under "Event Selection" click Transits to Radix and Stationary Points.
- Under "Point Selection" click on "Transits" and in the drop-down box select your choice of transiting planets, e.g., Outers. (If you want other Transits, e.g., from Mercury out, create the appropriate file.)
- Click on Radix and in the drop-down box select NONE.
- Under Aspect Selection click on Transits and in the drop-down box select NONE.
- Click on Save Selection and enter a name in the box that appears, e.g., STATIONS, and click OK.
- Click View and the Planets' Stations will appear alone in a chronological list.
(or Diurnal) Chart
is one cast for the time of the native’s birth but for a different date, and preferably for the residential location of the native rather than for the birth place. It is often indicative of events and applies for one day only, but of course the planetary positions and Aspects have a general application – they are the same for everybody. The only factors that are more specific are those related to the Houses and the Zodiacal points Ascendant, Midheaven, Equatorial Ascendant, Vertex and Part of Fortune. The Chart that is more specific to the individual than any other is the Age Harmonic Chart.
To move a Chart through time
, do this in Solar Fire
Create the Chart that you want but don't
move it onto the viewing screen.
Click on “Dynamic” in the Menu Bar, and “Animate Chart” in the drop-down box.
Move the Chart forward (or backward) in time by clicking on the arrowheads. You can adjust the rate (to a day, month or year) in the “Step By” box.
The Age-Harmonic Chart
is a Figure still unknown to many astrologers yet one of incalculable value, usually more pertinent and detailed in its indications than the commonly used Standard Solar Return Chart. The general ignorance of its value results in its being disregarded by astrologers on theoretical or other grounds but they would profit greatly if they took the time to investigate it. A little research on their own charts in relation to important life events would be an eye-opening revelation of the power of this technique.
Of course, you need a Computer Program for quick results. If you are a serious astrologer you will not flinch from sacrificing something else, or even mortgaging your house to get a Program like Solar Fire Deluxe
. Its possibilities of usefulness are endless as you will find out when you start exploring.
Harmonics are tedious (but not hard) to calculate by hand (with an electronic calculator). lf the birth time is out, but not too far out, the inter-planetary aspects will be O.K. but the House positions may be wrong.
Each individual factor in the Birth Chart has to be multiplied by the Age Harmonic. Usually, this is done by a Program in the computer. (Solar Fire
does it beautifully). The Ascendant is found by multiplying the Birth Asc by the current Age and all the Cusps have the same degrees and minutes (Equal House). The Birth MC multiplied by the Age gives the "floating MC" and can be anywhere in the Harmonic Chart. It is more important and significant than the 10th Cusp MC.
If you are using a calculator, reduce all the birth chart positions to absolute degrees from 0° Aries (for instance, 25Tau38 would become 55º38'; an Ascendant of 13Lib24 would become 193º24', etc.)
Multiply all the positions (including Ascendant and Midheaven) by the birthday number (for instance, if you are 35, and want the Age-Harmonic for the year from your age 35 to age 36, multiply all the positions by 35). Some astrologers have used a multiplier that is one year more than the age, but testing proves this is invalid and gives erroneous positions.
With all the products, cast out as many 360's as necessary to reduce the answer to less than 360, then translate the final figure back into the Zodiacal Sign and degree. Insert the Harmonic Ascendant in your blank Chart and put equal Cusps on the other Houses. You will have a “floating MC” (resulting from the multiplication of the Radix MC) which should also be inserted in the Chart. The floating MC
is more important than the standard MC (10th Cusp) though both are effective for interpretative and predictive purposes.
Procedure to get Monthly Age Harmonics
- Find the person's age at the last birthday. This gives the Age Harmonic figure for that year.
- For each succeeding month after the birthday add .0833 (1/12th of 1 degree). If the person was born, say, on 24th Feb 1948 the Age Harmonic for the year 24 Feb 2000 – 24 Feb 2001 would be 52. For the month 24 Mar – 24 Apr 2000, the Monthly Age Harmonic would be 52.0833. For the month 24 Apr—24 May 2000, the Monthly Age Harmonic would be 52.1666. And so on.
To make it easier to find the Monthly Harmonic I have compiled a Table which I will email to any Astrologer on request.
Charts Progressed by Age Harmonics
Harmonic Charts always appear with Equal Cusps, no matter which domification you use for the Radix.
To get the Harmonic Progressions for any date either set up the Harmonic Chart just as you do a Secondary Progressed Chart (F4 in Solar Fire
) or use the Animated Chart feature of Solar Fire
- In your list of calculated Charts, click on the Radix (the Natal Chart).
- Click on Dynamic.
- Click on Animate Chart in the drop-down list that appears,
- When the Radix appears click on the commencing date you want (under Events).
- Under Step by, enter 1 Day.
- Click on Charts and scroll down to Age Harmonic. Select that and click OK.
- Click on the forward arrow and monitor the daily Aspects coming up with each click.
If you want to examine any particular chart more closely, Click on Export --> To calculated Chart List (in the drop-down list on the right-hand side of the screen), You can then go to your Calculated Chart List and put the Radix around your selected chart and/or go to Sorted Aspects to get the exact orbs.
Reading the Harmonic Chart
Read it as you would a Solar Return. It is far richer in Aspects than other derived charts. Read the Chart as a figure in itself, but also in relation to your Birth Chart or the Radix if you are working with a national or event natus. The Age-Harmonic is artificial in that some positions could never be arrived at naturally (Mercury or Venus opposite the Sun, for instance). Don't be concerned about that, they are valuable additions. Just see what a great predictive tool it is, rich in Aspects, especially when considered in relation to the Radix.
Use the A.H. both outside and inside the Birth Chart to get the best picture of the inter-chart Aspects. Usually the Annual A.H. will indicate the most important events of the year (like a Solar Return) but also look at the Monthly Harmonic (see later).
The House position of the floating MC
is a useful factor and will often indicate the area of action or chief interest for the period being examined. For example, the floating MC in the 5th House will suggest a birth – look to other factors for confirmation.
(The Sun is similarly useful.)
Interpreting the Age Harmonic and other Derived Charts
Practice is all you need to get better with interpretation. Here are a few things I have found useful:
First of all, interpret the Age Harmonic Chart on its own (without the Radix). Alone, this will usually give the significant matters. When you surround it with the Radix you find confirmation. Just occasionally this procedure will bring into prominence some important Natal Aspect
(hard or soft) which then becomes important – often the most important factor. For example, a Natal Square could be moved to the Angular position of Asc and MC. This is a powerful indicator, whatever else appears in the Harmonic Chart.
Try to determine what is the MOST IMPORTANT FEATURE of the Harmonic Chart (or any other chart being interpreted). This is often the closest Aspect between single points but it could be a complex of close Aspects or a tight Stellium in a House or Sign. When the most important feature is found give it your concentrated attention. It is the factor that will tell you most.
Look for CLOSE ASPECTS (within 1°). The conjunctions are the most important but any Aspect, even a semi-sextile, is significant if less than 1° and ranking as the closest Aspect in the Chart. Give these close Aspects priority, but having found and interpreted them see what is added by the other Aspects up to about 5° orb.
CLOSENESS TO A PORPHYRY CUSP increases the potency of the planet involved – principally the Angles but the intermediate Cusps also. Harmonic Charts are usually printed out with equal Cusps, so every planet on a Cusp bears some angular relation to the Ascendant. To my surprise, and having treated them with indifference for many years, I have found Porphyry Cusps to be the best in general work inasmuch as they indicate the most powerful position a planet can occupy in a House.
It is largely a question of PRIORITIES – what astrological factor is more important and significant than another in any particular chart. This comes with doing lots of Age Harmonic Charts for events that you know in people’s lives. It’s serious work that counts – not lucky guesses. Of course for best results you need an accurate birth time.
Widen your knowledge of astrological procedures. No one method of enquiry will answer all questions at any particular time. You should have a variety of techniques to draw upon when your usual method does not answer your purpose.
Hints on doing the Monthly Tests
(revised from Instalment 128)
The importance of doing the "Tests" is not getting them right but expanding your knowledge and skills.
Many participants fail simply because they do not discern the most important feature of the Chart
they are examining. They get caught up in a host of loose Aspects and features of no importance as regards the matter in hand.
With “What happened…” type questions the most important feature of the relevant Chart is nearly always
the closest Ptolemaic Aspect
, whether it is a conjunction, opposition, square, trine or sextile. Don’t waste your time on wide Aspects and subtle influences of no importance. Exclude also from consideration hypothetical planets, Chiron, Asteroids and Arabic Parts (except the Part of Fortune). These may be interesting matters for discussion in hindsight but of minimal value in practice.
Use Aspect lines
but to make your search easier reduce the orbs to one or two degrees. This will focus your attention on the most important factors. Look first for conjunctions
the most powerful planetary links, while remembering that a tight square, for instance, is more effective than a loose conjunction.
When you are seeking the meaning of an Aspect or complex of Aspects look for the preponderance of influence
. Take account of the basic meaning of the planets involved, their House position (especially when close to a Cusp) and their House rulership, and the meaning of the Signs involved. Search for the common factor or the most emphasized factor and interpret the Aspect in the light of that factor.
Don’t pursue a method or type of Chart which repeatedly fails to yield the answer. Use some other Chart or line of approach. This is more productive than trying to prove that your favourite line will give the right answer if only you try hard enough. You are wasting your time and failing to take advantage of better methods.
Foremost of these “better methods” is the Age Harmonic Chart
. A review of past Tests will reveal that in a huge majority of cases the Age Harmonic uncovers the answer more quickly and surely than any other method. In multi-choice questions it not only gives the correct answer but excludes all the other events in the list. And it does not require any special skill – any astrologer can use it and get the right answer simply by applying the touchstone – find and use the most important feature of the Chart!
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