Behind the graphs
| This section has been written with those in mind who, though not having
studied astrology, would nonetheless like to know something about the
astrological technique used to create
OMNIGRAPHS: the so-called "Transits".
In astrology, the basis for interpretation is the "natal chart", which is basically a map of the planetary positions at the time of the individual's birth. Note that not only the Sun sign is of importance (which is the sole factor used in "newspaper astrology", that we completely reject, since it has practically nothing at all to do with serious astrology); the degree of the Sun - as seen from the Earth - is also crucial, as are the exact positions of the other planets: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, as well as the Moon. In addition, the "Ascendant" - the sign/degree of the zodiac rising in the east at the moment of birth - is used, and serves as the starting point for the "houses", which are 12 different sectors that divide the space around the Earth, starting at the Ascendant, and going counter-clockwise.
Let's start by taking a look at a birth chart - more often called "Natal chart" - such as represented by OMNICYCLES, with one difference: in the chart below, I have added the names of the planets and signs, so you will be able to identify them more easily. As you can see, the symbols for the signs - Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, etc. - are in the outer part of the wheel; the planets, just within the wheel. Thus, for example, we see that Maki, for whom this chart was done, has the Moon in the sign Leo. A look at the vertical list to the right of the chart reveals that her Moon is positioned at 11 degrees, 47 minutes of the sign Leo. (Remember that the signs run counter-clockwise: 1 degree Leo, then, would be just to the left of the sign Cancer, at the point where Leo begins. Each sign has 30 degrees). Maki's Sun is in Sagittarius (14 degrees, 3 minutes); her Ascendant, in Scorpio (list to the left: 16 degrees, 18 minutes). Of course, when one's Natal Chart is interpreted by an astrologer, each of these positions has its significance, and is included in a comprehensive interpretation.
What interests us here, however, is not natal
interpretation, but rather following the tendencies of one's future. In
order to do this, the natal chart alone is not enough; it merely serves as a
basis. In addition to the planets at the moment of birth, one needs to calculate
the planetary positions over the period of time to be represented in the
Naturally, the planetary positions do not remain fixed as time goes by. In the above natal chart, for example, Neptune is at 3 degrees Sagittarius; during the year 2004, it is around the middle of the sign Aquarius; the Moon, in Leo in the sample natal chart, actually makes one revolution through the signs every month, moving at the rate of about 13 degrees per day.
The technique known as "transits" involves calculating the planetary positions at a certain moment in (or over a certain period of) time, and then comparing the angles these positions make with the planetary positions in an individual's natal chart.
For example: on August 3, 2004, the Sun (as seen from the Earth!) will be at 11 degrees Leo. In Maki's Natal chart above, we have seen that her natal Moon is in that degree. Therefore, we can say that on August 3, the transit Sun will be in conjunction with (i.e., in the same degree as) her Natal Moon. Depending on the "Theme" selected, this conjunction will be given more or less points, and will contribute towards the final total for some of the points on the graph.
In astrology, the conjunction is only one sort of aspect, albeit the most easily recognizable. There are many more, representing distances in degrees between one factor and another. The meaning of the aspect - whether favorable or unfavorable, for example - depends on the distance (degrees) separating the two planets involved in the aspect, as well as the meaning of each of those planets.
The most commonly used astrological aspects are the following:
|Name of Aspect||Distance||Meaning|
| 0 degrees
|Depends on the individual meanings of planets involved
Tense; conflictive; activates
Tense; conflictive; activates
Here we can see that there are two main types of aspects: some which are harmonious, while others are tense. (The conjunction can be either, depending on the natures of the planets forming the aspect.) The blue line in an OMNIGRAPH represents the total amount of harmony at a certain moment, the red line, the amount of tension, when ALL the aspects of each type are taken into account and added up.
Example: On September 2, 2004, transit Mars will be at 14° Virgo. Between 14° Virgo and Maki's natal Sun position - 14° Sagittarius - there are 90 degrees. In the table above, we can see that a 90° aspect is a square, and is tense in nature. Now, Mars has a tense, active, conflict-producing nature in itself; therefore, when it is in square to Maki's Sun (which represents her "true self"), she will most likely be feeling irritable, perhaps "crabby", and maybe for good reason: with such an aspect, things generally don't go very well when one has transit Mars square one's Sun! Mind you, this is simply ONE aspect that will be active on that day for Maki: on any given day, there are usually MANY different aspects which are in effect, some of which are beneficial, others problematic. OMNICYCLES takes them all into account, evaluates them as to their strength and nature (always in relation to the particular theme selected), and then transforms the results into the points which then form the lines on the OMNIGRAPH.
Now, this isn't a course in astrology; I have merely set out to give you an idea of how the graphs are produced, so I won't go into too much more detail. A few things should be mentioned, however.
- OMNICYCLES doesn't simply use the five principal aspects listed above, but many other aspects as well.
- Each separate point on an OMNIGRAPH reflects the result of an entire list of aspects which are active at that moment in time; as time moves on - by minute, hour, day, week, month, year - some aspects separate (disappear), others form; there is thus a constant interplay of planetary energies affecting your natal chart over time.
- Though an aspect is generally at its strongest when exact (e.g., exactly 0°, 180°, 120°, etc.), it also has an influence somewhat before, and somewhat after, exactness: OMNICYCLES takes this into account, of course, and modifies the number of points given to each line accordingly.
This introduction was written with the general public in mind; for those interested, the "astrologer's section" contains much more detail about what goes into an OMNIGRAPH. Suffice it to say here that the graphs, though they may look simple, reflect the results of many complex astrological calculations. But unless you are really interested in astrology, there's no need for you to understand any of that - anyone can easily calculate their OMNIGRAPHS; and follow the tendencies of their future, with no knowledge whatsoever of the complexities of the ancient art/science of astrology!
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Click to read: "Understanding Astrological Predictions" by David Bolton