John Townley Home
Contact Us Order
Home Astro*Reports Astro*News John Susan

The Gathering Sky...

A faint Comet Pojmanski  high above left minaret, as Venus gathers on right, over Turkey, 2006...

...The Dynamics Of Aspect Formation

By John  Townley

One of the problems of using astrological aspects to explain events is that events so often don’t happen exactly when the aspects do. So when you forecast important situations arising on a grand cross or grand trine, and nothing happens, you’re likely to think twice about it the next time, lest you be confused with those who repeatedly predict the end of the world or the arrival of the New Age (remember the Harmonic Concordance?) and are promptly forgotten by history.

Yet, it can be particularly annoying to see really skilled astrologers seemingly call the shots ahead of time, apparently based on the very aspects that don’t seem to produce as consistently as they ought. What is one to do? Do these gathering sky patterns really trigger events, or do they not?

Evolving Structures

The answer is a matter of context and the relative dynamics of the situation. Perhaps the best way to look at sky patterns is as growing, evolving structures which overall raise and lower the pressures on what is happening here below. So, when you see the month working itself up to a giant grand cross, expect the events leading up to it to reflect the overall gathering tensions, the rising gradient that will peak at that point. As with a bell curve, critical events will tend to occur near the peak but may happen before or after (though more often slightly before). The timing of individual events will tend to go with the lesser triggering aspects also involved (the degree of the Moon, rising or culminating planets, even personal individual degrees angular), according to the real-world parameters of the participating factors, such as weekends, holidays, big scheduled events, other known pile-ons. 

Here’s a metaphor that might help. As a hurricane builds, the rope holding a ship at anchor may part under the pressure at almost any time during the storm, not necessarily at the peak of the high winds. It depends on its basic strength. If it’s weak, it will break early, if stronger but still not sufficient, not until later in the storm. And, if the wear of the storm has weakened it, it may part only as the winds are abating afterward. If it is truly sufficient, nothing will happen. So it goes with the realities of the world, and the sky above. Under the pressure of stressful events, the weakest link will part entirely according to its own design, as the pressure rises, or even as it falls afterward. The center of the bell curve astrologically is usually a bit before the peak/exact aspect, not dissimilar to hurricane damage, though things may even break down quite late in the game simply through prolonged battering.

As pressure builds before  major aspects, events tend to increase and peak just before the exact formation, then trail off.

So, when you see a really big aspect pattern coming up, expect a whole series of additive events related to it to occur before it ever arrives, as the pressure builds and other appropriate aspects add themselves to the growing mix. Look to the charts of individuals, groups, or nations involved to see if they are being hit by some or all of what’s happening and then make your estimates of what the effects of the overall pattern will be. Will this particular person/situation respond early, late, or pass though relatively untouched? What are the real-world stresses and tipping points which the gathering aspects may push over the edge? When you start looking at it that way, you get much better (if less cut-and-dried) results.

Transits As Nativities

There’s another consideration that’s entirely different, and that’s what’s going on inside the affairs that are underway, their fundamental implications and following evolution, which may not be immediately evident in outward events. Remember that every event chart is also a birth chart – decisions, commitments, conflicts, and resolutions are being born which will hold within them the tensions and the aspects of the particular sky pattern in formation. Thus, for instance, one might expect a whole generation of fairly remarkable people was likely born around the famed Harmonic Concordance, even though nothing seemingly of note appeared to have happened at the time. And, who knows what deals were sealed that are still maturing now which will yet change the world? A lot of what goes on during highly visible aspect periods reveals itself only later as the situations born then mature, and the subsequent transits and progressions come to fruition. For instance, a remarkable generation in which one whole birth set turns into another by progression happened not long ago, with a number of remarkable births at the time, some already famous, others headed for fame as they mature. What the upshot of this closely-coordinated worldwide crop of human beings and related events will be no one yet knows, but they are sure to resonate down the rest of this century.

Fate vs. Free Will

Of course, all this the is the opposite of what astrology is so often misunderstood to be: fatalism. It’s a whole lot more like the kind of analysis of environmental influences that you find in meteorology, oceanography, or any other area where multiple, mixed, and varying factors more or less affect the patterns of our lives. After all, what is astrology but the really big, background environmental picture which has been filtering down and entraining the systems around us, including ourselves? The more you know about them, and include them at their varying scales, the more control you have over your own life, the more free will you have to exercise.

That is, of course, why simple delineations don’t work that well in astrology, because aspects are not really events in themselves, but the general focus of pressure waves which tend to bring on events occuring in response. To use a quantum physics metaphor, the planets involved act as particles and waves at the same time, or the focus of waves which sometimes combine  to make for stormy weather. When you're looking for the real-life effects, it becomes all about the aggregate and how the individual pieces respond to the larger, general pressures in smaller, specific instances. As the skies gather toward any one big pattern, it’s the details that tell you when its effects are really going to manifest. Often a single, seemingly small event triggered by a minor part of the multiple patterns building up will set off a landslide then attributed to the larger pattern. Or, if it doesn't, the whole thing may pass without consequence. Remember that in the end, when the pressure is on, the dam doesn’t burst until (and unless) the small child takes his finger out of the dyke…


Not a newsletter subscriber already?    Subscribe Free Here!

Let us know what you think! Write us:

And every day, keep in touch with our Astrology In The News section...please take a look!
-- Breaking news from around the globe, plus articles, reviews, it's all happening there, changes daily...

  Copyright © John Townley 2008. All rights reserved.
About Us | Astro*Reports | Readings | John | Susan | Books | Articles | Astro*News/Views | Astro*LinksMusic | Site Map