Acyuta-bhava Dasa 0:00
Hi everyone, this is Acyuta-bhava from Nightlight Astrology, and today I'm hanging out with my friend Cat from The Creative Introvert. Cat is here to help me aggregate all of your questions throughout the year that you leave in the chat box. Then we put together these little q&a episodes. You all know Cat by now, a lot of you do anyway. So thanks for being here today. Cat, what do we got?
Yeah, thanks. And today we're going to be talking about basically planetary placements in the chart. Not talking about planets in particular signs, but just how they are literally geographically in the chart. So one of the things that you've been talking about, in recent videos with the different transits that are happening right now, is the difference between the superior and inferior aspects. Would you just be able to give us a little bit of an explanation about what you mean by that?
Acyuta-bhava Dasa 0:53
Yeah, that's a great question. And I think it's probably one of the most popular questions I've received in the past few weeks. Of the year really, because in the work that I did on some of those election charts on Joe Biden's chart on Trump's chart, and just some of the ways that I've been working with the transits in November. We had a series of aspects from Mercury and Libra overcoming Saturn, or in the superior square to Saturn, Venus in the superior square to Saturn, this week. So people have been like, wait, what is this?
Acyuta-bhava Dasa 1:24
The first thing to say is that this way of looking at aspects comes from ancient astrology, Hellenistic astrologers practised with a certain us they had a certain way of looking at aspects in their practice that helped them to understand subtler dynamics happening when planets make aspects to one another. So for example, in every planetary aspect, the trine, the sextile, and the square. In those three aspects, in particular, there's going to be one of the two planets that is involved in that aspect that has the more dominant influence. You can think about it as like the game tag. You know, my girls play this, where one person is chasing, like Gigi may be chasing Summer, and then they'll stop all of a sudden without anyone telling them to you know, and then Summer will start chasing Gigi. So there's this natural energy exchange in nature where we have the pursued and the pursuer, we have the victim and the aggressor. And the roles are always changing. You could even just say that we have an active and we have an passive and we have a receiver or receptive. So for ancient astrologers, within planetary aspect dynamics, the sextile, the trine and the square are always have one of two natures, one planet will either be in the superior more dominant influence position, and or the other will be inferior, which means that there'll be the weaker of the two or the one that has is more receptive to the impressions that the other planet is making upon it. So that's the general meaning of superior and inferior, the word superior is not like I'm better than you, it means more like in front versus behind or above versus below, it has more of a sense of which planet has a more assertive presence within the dynamic. Is that clear so far?
Acyuta-bhava Dasa 3:36
Now, if you have an opposition, the two planets are, in a sense, on equal ground. That's why the opposition is so powerful. And if you have a conjunction for ancient astrologers, it wasn't even really an aspect because aspect implied lines of sight between whole signs and between planets in whole signs. So the concept of a conjunction was not really included in the aspect family. It had its own unique meaning and status or category where the two planets are kind of merging or blending with one another. And in opposition, you have more of a sense of the two planets on equal ground, though often the faster moving planet will be the one that will overtake the other one, because when it passes through the opposition, the faster moving planet is going to, you know, come on onto the superior side. So at any rate, this really makes aspects a lot more unique and nuanced than people generally think. And this is one of the reasons why in my courses, I teach people, this this idea that you don't really need a million aspects. There's a lot of more recently discovered and used aspects from maybe the mediaeval period, Renaissance period up to modern period, more and more different types of aspects have appeared and I'm not trying to take a shot at people who use them. But the more that you learn about ancient aspect theory, the more you realise that there's a lot of sophistication built into these very basic aspects. So that's just a little background, something that I flesh out a lot more in my in my course where we have 10-12 hours to spend on aspects. But that's the gist of it. So far, we'll define now what how to identify which planet would be in the more dominant superior versus inferior position. But before I do that, does that is that making sense so far? Cat?
Yeah, it does. Yeah. I'm also just kind of curious about this being in somebody' chart, you know, I think we're all gonna have this in our chart somewhere, right? And maybe you could give us an example of the difference between, let's say, Saturn in the superior square to the Sun, and vice versa. And how that might look different.
Acyuta-bhava Dasa 5:56
Yeah of course, that would be a great exercise. Great idea. So, what you have to do to understand inferior and superior is first find an aspect right and it has to be a sextile trine or square. Because the opposition, they're going to be basically on equal footing with one another. Whereas the conjunction, they're blending together, so it's going to be either the left hand side of a planet or the right hand side of a planet's trine, sextile or square. And you can see this for example, if I just pick any hole sign as a starting place, let's say it's Pisces, there's going to be three aspectual rays to the left of Pisces, here you got a sextile to Capricorn, the square to Sagittarius, a trine to Scorpio then there's the opposition right across the wheel, we already said the opposition is going to be not participating in the inferior versus superior dynamic as the planets are going to be more or less on equal ground. You go to the right hand side of Pisces in this chart, you're going to get a sextile to Taurus, you're going to get a square to set to Gemini and then a trine to Cancer. So there's seven aspectual rays that a planet can cast based on the seven hole sign connections from one side to another. That's not a mistake. Obviously, there's symmetry there with the number of planets seven and the number of aspects seven. So at any rate, when you're looking from the standpoint of a planet in any aspectual relationship, you want to see if the aspect is being made to the left of that planet or the right of that planet. And that will help you understand if the aspect is inferior or superior. For example, let's just take Venus who is at 27 degrees, and Saturn who is at 27 degrees. So you can see that they're in a square almost exactly by degree. So the question becomes, is Venus in the inferior or superior position? If you were to start from Saturn, squaring Venus, it would be the same thing. Is Saturn inferior or superior? If you find the answer to one, you found the answer to both. So let's just take Venus as an example. The best way to understand if it's inferior or superior is to draw the opposition across the wheel. Right, just draw that straight line. And imagine that you are in Venus's position looking into the centre of the chart. So we're looking in toward this circle. The aspect that Venus is casting whoops, let me draw this over so it's clear. So here's the opposition and your Venus and you're looking into the centre of the circle. And then the aspect that you're casting is to Saturn at 27 degrees.So the question you ask is if you're Venus and you're looking into the centre of the circle you're facing in towards the centre is this aspectual ray to Venus's right hand side or to Venus is left hand side? And you can see here that this is to Venus is right hand side. And this would be the same if you rotated this anywhere around the wheel. For example, let me just rotate this a bunch so that we have it like this. If Venus is now at 28 degrees, roughly there's there's Saturn at 27. Draw the opposition across the we'll look into the centre of the circle from Venus's position is that aspectual Ray being cast to Venus is right or left is to Venus is right. If the aspectual Ray is being cast to the right, ancient astrologers associated that right hand sightedness with the kind of like the young tendency which should be more dominant. And so Venus was said to be in an overcoming or superior square to Saturn, which means that Venus has influence and although it is mingling with Saturn's influence, Venus will be more dominant in the dynamic.
Acyuta-bhava Dasa 10:05
So for example, let's just say here that I'm actually reading this in a natal chart. One interpretation, for example, if I had Saturn in the seventh house might be that I marry someone who is, let's say some of the more difficult aspects of Saturn like controlling or say, very hard or strict or cold or distant. Those would be some of the more like difficult Saturn things you could encounter in a marriage. But Venus is in Libra happens to be the exaltation of Saturn, by the way. But in the fourth house, a place of home family dwelling place and is overcoming Saturn. This might mean that this person, for example, rather than just being a picture of cold, hard Saturn, that you marry an architect, an architect might be someone whose personality includes a lot of the features of Saturn. But here's this overcoming influence from a very strong Venus in her own sign, which means that Saturn lose a maybe, let's say, more structured and sort of stern planet, it's now overcome by the element of beauty, style, class, sophistication. So maybe you have someone who's very disciplined, but they're a designer, or they're an architect, so that that presence of Venus is overcoming and sort of toning Saturn. And so and one of the reasons you might get architect out of this is that Venus is in the fourth house. Now, maybe you marry an architect, maybe you are an architect, right, it could go either way. But more likely, with Saturn in the seventh that this would be something describing the home, the living environment, the spouse, maybe something about your own family background with Venus in the fourth, for example, I've seen this exact aspect, actually, in charts. Over the past couple of years, obviously, as Saturn has been in Capricorn, I've been doing a lot of Saturn returns for people who are just right 28 to 30 years old. And I've seen overcoming squares from Venus in the fourth to Saturn in the seventh. And a lot of it has had to do with, you know, marrying someone and questions about, you know, am I marrying someone who's the safe pick? Am I marrying someone who falls in line with the image your ideal that my family set forth? Of what marriage and responsibility in the world are supposed to look like? Is this is this real love? Is that real beauty? Or is there something maybe a little bit vain or superficial about it? And those are questions that could come into play? Also, because, you know, here's the Venus Saturn combination, where questions about authenticity and beauty or control and beauty, come into question. And then in these areas, home family and marriage, a person has, you know, they're, they're naturally thinking about those things as they're maybe getting married or something like that. So these are just little examples for my practice, but that would be in this case, Venus, overcoming Saturn would also say, you know, maybe there might be something more satisfying about marriage relationships or social life, but then you have this really Venusian aspect that's colouring it and sort of stronger in the mix of Saturn and Saturn is. Does that make sense?
Yeah, and would you say that, I mean, Venus has kind of sweetening up the Saturn deal? Whereas if Saturn was overcoming Venus, Saturn maybe dampening or making more cold that Venusian side?
Acyuta-bhava Dasa 13:38
That's absolutely correct. So let's just let me just show you what this would be like, in reverse. So let's go back to Venus in Aries. Basically, there they are in the square again, see, here's Saturn at 28. And there's Venus at 27. Now let's imagine that we're we're drawing a line across the chart from Saturn to Cancer. That's the opposition and then from that line drawn across the wheel, we want to look and say does this aspect that Saturn's making to Venus happened to Saturn's Reiter to Saturn's left? Well, it's going to Saturn's right hand side, if we're looking into the circle from Saturn, right? Look into the centre of the circle, go to the right hand side. In this case, Saturn is overwhelming Venus in this case. For example, I would say if I were reading this in a chart, Hmm, is it possible that duty responsibility tradition control a more Saturn nine home environment overcomes the more carefree independent Venus in the house of marriage? So in that sense, Saturn is going to overcome Venus and have a little bit more dominant effect over Venus. And that changes how you read the dynamics in this case between home and marriage.
And I just noticed that, you know, we're tracing that back. So that was like in March of this year. Is it something that could be useful to somebody to trace back that story between Saturn and Venus, let's say from the conjunction of Saturn and Venus in their lives?
Acyuta-bhava Dasa 15:33
Absolutely, yeah. I mean, that would be a level of detail that I would say most clients that I have, are not going to be interested in because they probably don't study astrology that in depth, but people who study and track transits you can absolutely track out the conjunctions from any, you know, synodic cycles between any planets and watch the exchange of inferior versus superior qualities. If you journal and track it out, you'll notice a whole story that unfolds between Venus being more dominant and Venus being more submissive or receptive. And it's really interesting to follow that as Venus' phases also change. For example, here you have Saturn dominating Venus as an evening star, there's Saturn, there's Venus in the West. Whereas, you know, when we go forward now after Venus is retrograde, to where we are currently, now if you back this up, just a couple of hours here, you're going to notice that Venus is in the morning star position. So Saturn dominates Venus in the evening in this cycle, whereas Venus dominates Saturn in the morning. And that's interesting, because the morning star would give Saturn Venus and extra yang emphasis. And so you have a very strong Venus right now. And that's why I've been so insistent in my videos that, you know, the Venusian things will overcome the Saturn things right now. And that's kind of a good promise looking at what other difficult transits we've had.
Yeah, yeah. I love thinking about that, like the story of the planets throughout the at least the faster moving ones.
Acyuta-bhava Dasa 17:07
Yeah, it's really cool to track so you can do that with any planetary aspect. Just remember, opposition's won't have one superior and one inferior that's why they're opposition's because they're more or less in a in a grudge match. Or you could say that they're they're working in complimentary fashion, either way to really depends on our show kind of our karma in our consciousness, I guess.
Okay, cool. Um, so I think that's about it for the superior inferior aspects. What about stelliums? Could you explain to us a little bit about what a stellium is? And, you know, what does it means to have have a stellium in your chart?
Acyuta-bhava Dasa 17:44
It's funny, I just did a reading for a gentleman. And I'm just going to show something that I think is absolutely fantastic. And not many people know about this. But there was a stellium like no other stellium. Really, that happened in February, roughly, of 1962. And I just want to show people what that looked like, you actually had a few days, like, I mean, if you look at this, there was a few days in the beginning of February 1962, where all of the traditional planets, we're in Aquarius. And I just did a chart with someone for someone who had the majority of this stellium in place. So for the moon, I think it was, but at any rate, people are like, Well, how do you read something like this?
That's a lot of Aquarius,
Acyuta-bhava Dasa 18:36
And here's my tip for interpreting stellium. If you have three or more planets in one sign in an in a chart, the first thing to do is to understand that the planets are all going to be speaking very loudly to the topics of that house. So anchor your interpretation. First in the topics of the house. For example, if this is my client, I'm looking at a stellium of three or more planets to speak of the Age of Aquarius transit, here, but it's in the ninth house. So that's the place that foreign countries, that's the place of long journeys, it's the place of you know, universities and monasteries and divination and mysticism. It's a religious, spiritual, academic, intellectual house, it has to do with the law, and the laws that govern the universe, whether you're, you know, a physicist or a mystic. So, when you look at all of those planets in that house, the first and most basic way to ground the interpretation is going to be to give emphasis to the house topics, then you got your groundedness then you can start to differentiate and parse things out. You can do so on two levels.
Acyuta-bhava Dasa 19:46
One is to try to synthesise the planets into a statement that more or less incorporates their qualities. The other one would be to differentiate them and break them into parts. For example, Mars in the eighth in the ninth house is often very analytical and has a scrutinising mind, is an Enquirer, but maybe with a kind of scalpel. Saturn in the ninth house is often disciplined, principled, sometimes dogmatic, very committed or, or serious when it comes to the mind or beliefs. Mercury is often the quintessential seeker questioner in the ninth house. The Sun is often the image of the priesthood, the priestess or the professor, or the monk or someone who has an official degree in law or something like that. Venus in the ninth might be the student of art history, or someone who loves to travel abroad to beautiful exotic locations, or someone who's interested in the marriage between aesthetics and theology or something like that. Jupiter in the ninth house might be the, you know, again, kind of similar to the sun may have some mantle of greater authority or knowledge might be the, the guru, the Moon in the ninth house could very easily be associated with dreams and divination and has a more almost prophetic quality to it, or sometimes may involve them, the background of the family karma in regard to religion or education. Now, I can break those down really, really quickly just in in you know, and then you can, you can try to blend them to I mean, it's really hard with this amount of planets to like, blend them. But let's say just let's just say that you had Mercury, Saturn and Mars. If you have Mercury, Saturn and Mars, then you want to learn you want to find a way of blending them. This is going to be a serious, inquisitive, disciplined, curious but highly analytical and sharp minded quality. So you got serious and discipline Saturn sharpened, cutting, analytical and curious, math science, people who know tax code, you know, lawyers are attorneys who have to slice and dice in the courtroom with verbal or rhetorical skills. So you pair the planets together and and blend them. And that would be the other approach. So that's how I would recommend approaching stellium is grounded in the house. Get that as your primary emphasis that might be your starting place if you can't do the rest yet, but then differentiate the planets one at a time within the house. And then next level would be to find creative ways of synthesising them for me in the beginning, I had to use a Word document and write things down so that I could get them out. Now I've done it so much that it can come it comes very quickly.
They're all in Saturn's domicile. So would you give Saturn a bit of an emphasis in that they're all going to be kind of answering to Saturn?
Acyuta-bhava Dasa 22:35
Yeah, you could do and there's two ways of doing that. I mean, in ancient astrology, it's going to be a bit less about Aquarius, and a bit more about Saturn, in that the planet, the ruling planet has more of the power, but it's an Aquarian kind of Saturn, not a Capricornian Saturn. So Aquarius could also modify that a little bit. For example, it's airy, it's fixed. It's related to, you know, Ganymede, the water bearer constellation. There's different elements of myth and metaphor that could come in through the sign as well. I find that those are useful in terms of embellishing the description not in terms of anchoring it because in ancient astrology, the sign is really not what makes it it's more about the planet and the house, for sure. So it's a Saturn nine kind of ninth house, though, but it's not just, there's so many planets in this in this example, in that chart, that though they're toned by Saturn, I wouldn't want to make the whole thing just about Saturn. I would want to try to emphasise really how rich and diverse this person's ninth house emphasis is going to be.
Okay, one last question about the placement of planets in a chart. And that is, when you see a lot of planets actually like this chart right now, where things are on the upper half of it, versus the lower half and what might that tell you about the person or their karma?
Acyuta-bhava Dasa 24:53
Sure. So if you're in ancient astrology, the general distinction is going to be speaking It above, and let's say matter, but also the word fortune below. So spirit would be the realm of, you know, the soul, and the gods and mind. And, you know, action is a result in the ancient sense that it goes from subtle to gross. So in other words, our actions in the flesh are dictated by spirit, something that's not embodied in the typical material sense. And that's, that's consciousness. And that's why I would say, you know, like, sometimes scientists say, we don't really know where consciousness is actually, you know, they're saying, now consciousness isn't like in your brain, like a lot of people think consciousness is somehow in your brain. And they're saying, No, actually, it's not that simple. Where is conscious, we don't know. It's a Ghost in the Machine. So that's the spirit side of things. And in a general sense, that realm belongs to the Sun, and to this idea of higher dimensions of thought, or consciousness. But there's some differentiation between good and bad there to the 12th house was called the house of bad spirit, the 11th was called the house of good spirit. And you also have the ninth house called God, which was the joy of the sun. And the bottom you have the fifth houses the house of good fortune in the joy of Venus in the sixth house called bad fortune in the joy of Mars, the third house was called goddess and was the joy of the Moon. So the underworld has a lot more to do with, you could say mundane things, in a sense, everyday circumstances, things that don't feel like they're in your control things that connect you to village tribe, city group, family, as well as perhaps some things that might be more unconscious as matter in fortune were generally thought to be slightly more unconscious. But also the underworld and things that are perhaps unseen, or hidden or occult, in some ways, or as the upper world of the spirit is going to be, in a general sense. More about intentionality, sort of the realm of intentions, desires that exist, in a sense, prior to embodiment, or manifestation. There's also in the top half a sense of action in the world out in the world in the visible sphere. So those are some distinctions. But my honest commentary on this is that this, I wouldn't place a large amount of emphasis on this in practice, because, I mean, it could tell you, for example, if I saw someone with a chart like this, that they're going to be a little bit more outerworld focused, you know, but unless there's a big, a huge and obvious emphasis on one hemisphere versus the other, I don't usually give it a lot of weight in my readings. Because if it's pretty well spread between the two, then I don't, I don't find that it's going to make or break or give me any particularly unique insight. But this would be an exact an example of where it might because it's so upper focused.
People talk about, I don't know, they call them like, bowls, or like different names. And they're not even about aspects. It's like just having shapes in the chart. Is that just a quite a recent phenomenon?
Acyuta-bhava Dasa 28:21
Yeah, that would be like a really recent modern phenomenon. I find that you know, it's a bit like looking at shapes in the clouds, where people say, do you see the rabbit and I'm like, you know, I see Donald Duck or something else totally different. So I'm not sure I personally don't give a lot of credence to the different shape patterns of charts, was I find that if you ask if you press anyone and say, Well, what does that really mean? What can we can you give me a specific delineation, and show me five examples where the exact same kind of thing is present, that the any examples that I've ever seen given are very generic, and don't feel to me like, specific or concrete enough examples of the of the, the shape or the interpretation of the shape to be valid. For example, someone might have a big bowl or something and someone goes, Well, look, they're a healer, you know, are they look they they went through so much?
Acyuta-bhava Dasa 29:24
I'm not trying to be a jerk. If it doesn't make sense to me, I can't get into it. And for kites and all these things, like I've just, I've seen a huge amount of emphasis being given to these things without very clear explanations of where this comes from, why it's used and what specifically it tends to point to. So I don't pay a lot of attention to them. For that reason, if I saw something like that more and more of something like that, I would pay attention. So I'm not saying not saying it couldn't happen. At some point. Maybe there are these chart patterns that are very specific. Maybe ancient astrologers had paid attention to them. We just haven't discovered texts in which they did. I don't pay attention to chart patterns as much as I do planets and houses, rulerships, dispositorships, aspects, dignities... there's so much there already with the basics. It's like Stephen Forrest once said, "I'm constantly trying to tell the chart to shut up because it's saying so much," you know, I don't need I don't really need a lot more to get tonnes out of the chart already.
All right, I think that was really helpful. And that's all I've got on my questions.
Acyuta-bhava Dasa 30:31
Okay, very good. Well, thank you so much, everybody for listening. If you have questions, feel free to email them to us put questions in the subject line. firstname.lastname@example.org. Otherwise, leave them here in the chat box. Cat collects them. We make these episodes from time to time. We hope you enjoy them. That's it for today. We have some more good stuff coming up. So stay tuned for more soon and be sure to check cat's work out at thecreativeintrovert.com. All right. Thanks, everyone. Bye.