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Lagrange Points...

Home, home on...Lagrange?...

...The Hidden Attractors In Your Chart

By John  Townley

Astrologers, particularly modern ones, have a track record of locking on to new, hidden, and often entirely imaginary planets to explain mysteriously active and apparently powerful yet unexplained points that regularly seem to show up in horoscopes. If you spend much time in this business, you run into degrees that seem to recur with great seeming importance in your own chart and those of others, whether clients or closer, and there is no reasonable astrological explanation for them. Everything else seems to fit, but  something still remains that’s begging for an explanation. The first inclination is to look to see if there is some unknown planet or midpoint, or harmonic, or something that’s maybe a little off the map that you or perhaps everybody never noticed before. Many an astrologer has made a reputation off trying to fill that void, over the years. That’s how the Uranian planets came to be, hypothetical cyclical spots that seemed to explain power positions observed by German astrologers that nothing else could explain. Such points have flourished before and since, including Vulcan, at least one version of Lilith, many different versions of “Planet X,” and the hopeful insertions of the asteroids, later the Centaurs (Chiron the foremost), and now even more far-off bodies beyond Pluto, like Eris.

Indeed, I spent decades looking for something seemingly ever-present at the totally vacant 7-8 Libra in my own chart that just couldn’t be explained. The closest I could come was that it might be my most-aspected natal degree (using major and much smaller minor aspects). Or, maybe it was the hypothetical planet Poseidon, and hey, I’m big into the sea… The fact that it was very simply the degree that provided the applying sextile to my Moon escaped me because it seemed so mildly irrelevant – a soft aspect that wasn’t such a deal and whose effects by transit should be averaged out among many. It should have occurred to me that my other major mystery point was the degree of the separating sextile to my Sun at 23 Libra.

Lagrange points occur in any orbit of one body around another, mark stability and instability of position

Well, maybe the more inventive explanations like newly-found or newly-fabricated bodies can explain all mysteries, but simple solutions are often the best. One of them includes two of the set of five Lagrange points, which I have mentioned before here, which may be one of the major clues to the basic Ptolemaic aspects and the overall structure of astrology. Gravitationally, there is a point of attraction – or, rather, orbital stability – just sixty degrees (a sextile) ahead of and behind every body in orbit, that causes everything from planetary dust to full-blown planetoids to fall into and remain there. They are called Lagrange points 4 and 5, named after French mathematician Joseph Louis Lagrange who discovered them (or the principles behind them). Lagrange points 1 and 2 are points between and beyond two orbiting bodies but exterior to their orbits which achieve some sort of gravitational equilibrium, often used to hold satellites in stationary orbit, the equivalent (astrologically) of a conjunction. Lagrange point 3 is the orbital opposition point and Lagrange point 4 and 5 are sixty degrees (a sextile) on either side of a planet along the path of its orbit. And, of course, the aspect between Lagrange points 4 and 5 themselves is 120 degrees, or a trine, the other basically stable astrological aspect. Every other orbital aspect inherently possesses varyingly greater degrees of instability, most particularly including the square and the opposition, while the conjunction pulls toward mutual equilibrium. Sounds like astrology to me.

There is a lot still to be looked at here before rushing to judgment, especially including how you look at the orbits of the planets geocentrically (as if they were, literally, orbiting around the earth), which varies with retrogradation but has its own ultimate average (and which is not the same as reverting to a heliocentric view). Notwithstanding, it won’t hurt you to look at what’s sixty degrees before and after your Lights, for a start, which may explain some of what you’ve been missing. Look particularly to the interior sextiles between your Lights (within their shortest mutual arc), as the same fundamental principles that govern near and far midpoints seem to apply here. That may tell you which is the more important orbital Lagrange point (4 or 5) for each. Each one is a gravitational point of attraction and rest which resonates with the rest of your chart when any transiting or progressed body occupies it. In fact, what reveals itself is a network of attractor points a sextile ahead and behind each and all of your planets, where important yet unexplained transits will show up again and again. Things are comfortable there and ring the rest of your life like a well-tuned instrument.


U.S.A. chart (left) with Lagrange points for all planets. Points make shadow clusters of stability in otherwise vacant areas. Right, the five L-points in space are shown with the L4 and L5 relative swaths of influence clustering near the sextile area.

It doesn’t just provide you with important points to look at in your own chart. It’s very powerful in synastry and composites. For instance, when you get the classic ideal marriage comparison between two charts (Sun on Moon, or vice-versa), you’ll find the overlap of mutual Lagrange points, naturally swelling the resonance. An accident? Not at all. The same with synastry where one person’s planet is trine another’s: the Lagrange points 4 and 5 are the attractors that unite them fore and aft. When you apply it to composites, it becomes a resonance of the mutual midpoints themselves. Worth a thought. Check it out on the charts you know well and see if it doesn’t reveal an undisclosed locking mechanism, surprisingly physical and all-encompassing. It cannot be overemphasized that resonance and dissonance are the fundamental guiding principles of astrology. From the long period of the planetary orbit (in days or years) to the short alternation of the musical tone (cps or Hz), all are mutually related within their relative scaling and all seek out the same general set of proportions.  

This all may seem theoretical, but it would be nice if more of traditional astrology based on repeated life observation could be linked with its often obvious fit within more simple and accepted astrophysical principles. The more you look, the more they seem to fit hand in glove. So, go try it out in your own chart, then others, and then go try and make friends with an astronomer…LOL…!


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