Declinations Are Not Shown on Conventional Flat Wheel Charts
Astrology practice has unfortunately been stuck in a charting system that acts as if the solar system and universe are flat. The flat wheel chart we are so familiar with depicts the planets’ longitude positions only, leaving their north and south positions – declinations – unaddressed. That’s half the aspect picture. For me this is unacceptable. Added information changes the picture and changes the interpretation synthesis.
In recent times the Magi Society has begun charting declinations superimposed upon the zodiacal chart in an s-curve format. Some programs like SolarFire give a special sidebar aspectarian for declinations. Astrodienst will create a pdf document of planetary and house positions including declinations. You’ll have to match up the parallels and contra-parallels yourself.
The Major Missing Aspects
Parallels (P) and contra-parallels (CP) are major angular aspects, just as important as conjunctions and oppositions, and function very similarly. No rectification work can come to a sure conclusion without taking them into account. In fact, some charts make no sense when viewed against the backdrop of the person’s life – until you look at the declinations.
Declinations are the planets’ and calculated points’ positions North and South of the celestial equator. Remember we don’t live in a flat solar system (or universe), so planets just don’t move along an east-west axis. If we project the earth’s equator out into space we have an invisible plane encircling the earth’s orb, referred to as the ‘celestial equator.’
In the above illustration Stars and planets in north declination (+) are shown above the celestial equator (green line), those in south declination (-) are shown below it. The left side sphere shows the semi-arc of the ecliptic (red line) in south declination. This is the path of the Sun when it is in the signs of Libra through Pisces. The right side shows the semi-arc of the ecliptic in north declination when the Sun is in the signs of Aries through Virgo.
Parallels happen when two planets/points are at about the same degree N or S of the celestial equator. Contra-parallels happen when two planets are about the same degree, but on opposite sides of this celestial equator.
Declination positions are noted in one of three ways:
(+ means North, and – means South)
+ 12°34′ (or) 12N34 (or) 12°34′ North.
Signs of North Declination
When there are planets in those signs that are in Northern declination, Aries through Virgo, there are possible P aspects created between them.
Planets/points in Aries can be P those in Virgo are moving through the area 0° to about 12° North. If you’ve ever wondered why a Virgo and an Aries seem to get along together, get married and have children and stay together so compatibly, understand that their synastry may include P aspects between their charts that form bonds just as strongly as conjunctions do in longitude (flat wheel chart).
Taurus and Leo share about 12° North to about 20° North declination. Same story here. Yes, Taurian and Leos can have points of great compatibility too.
Gemini and Cancer share the area of about 20° North to about 23° declination and further. This seems a much smaller area, but during this time of decreased speed in northward movement, the planets are still moving at their usual average speeds in longitude.
Signs of South Declination
Libra and Pisces share the area 0-12° South declination.
Scorpio and Aquarius, 12-20° S.
Sagittarius and Capricorn, 20-23° S.
For a long period of time the Moon went out-of-bounds (beyond 23.5°) up to 28°.
So in interpreting these aspects, we integrate the differing signs into the interpretation. P aspects between planets in Taurus and Leo, for example, allow for the best of those sign modes to be fused through the action of the planetary principles involved.
Pluto’s Eccentric Plane of Orbit
The biggest questions come in when Pluto is involved. Its orbit is eccentric and out of phase slightly with the other planets’ plane of orbit putting it noticeably out of sync with their general course in declination.
In June 1914 when Pluto entered Cancer, it was only just coming to 18° N declination. Because of Pluto’s very long, slow and eccentric orbit, it did not reach its peak of declination until 1945 when it slowed and came to declinational station at 23N56 when in the sign of Leo. It then began its movement slowly South. A natal Pluto position during this time could have been P points in mid-Gemini through mid-Cancer. So a person born with an Asc in one of those signs at 23° N declination could have it P Asc.
When Pluto passed into Libra in October 1971 it was at 15° North declination. It didn’t hit the celestial equator again until it was in mid-Scorpio (10-13° Scorpio).
At 0° Aries Pluto is about 15.5° South declination. It doesn’t hit the celestial equator +/- 0° until it is in mid-Taurus (about 10-13° Taurus).
It lags a sign or more behind other planets in declination.