I have used declinations since I started learning astrology in the late’60’s and often wondered why people stopped working with them. I think the problem started when the American Ephemeris dropped them from their tables and it was not easy to find them from any other source. Now we have astrology programs that include declinations I think many people will start working with them again. Also Magi astrologers work extensively with these measurements and so have re-activated astrologers’ interest. Only use an orb of one degree for declinations, anything else is far too wide.
There are two systems of measurement.
• Declinations and Right Ascension measure the planets in relation to the Earth.
• Longitude and latitude measure planets along the ecliptic.
Declination in the sky is the same as latitude on Earth, so if a planet is 23N26 Declination it is overhead 23N26 latitude on Earth.
Latitude in Astrology is latitude of planets either side of the ecliptic, it is not in any way the same as declination.
It is really worth the little bit of extra effort to use declinations as they cover situations that are not so easily seen in longitude astrology and will give added emphasis to planetary conjunctions and other aspects. For example, a Jupiter-Pluto aspect in parallel of declination will be just as powerful as a Jupiter-Pluto conjunction in longitude, but astrologers who don’t use declinations could overlook this and be puzzled as to why a person with the parallel is very successful in a specific area.
For example: here is the chart of Paul McCartney, a founding member of the Beatles, one of the most successful musical groups in history. Their success was global and massive, and after the group disbanded, Paul McCartney founded another highly successful band.
As you can see, he has a Sagittarius MC with the ruler, Jupiter, conjunct the Sun in the 4th house. This would certainly give some measure of success, but look what happens when you factor in Declinations:
This map is quite easy to read. The table on the left shows the position of the planets in declination. The left column shows planets in North Declination and the right column show planets in South Declination. The table on the right show the planets declination, longitude and longitude equivalent.
You can easily see that there is a Jupiter-Sun-Pluto-IC parallel of declination all at 23N17-23N44 and contraparallel the MC at 23S17. Even though Pluto is nowhere near Sun and Jupiter in the natal longitude chart it is closely factored through declination. The connection to the MC enabled Paul to use the massive amount of success this offers in his career.
The USA has a strong Sun-Jupiter-Venus-Mars parallel, with Pluto contraparallel. I have always thought that this clearly describes the success and power of this country.
(click to enlarge) click here to see USA Sibly natal chart USA Sibly
Barack Obama has a lovely Mercury-Venus-Pluto-IC rolling parallel of declination from 19N55 (IC) – 21N38 (Venus) This clearly gives him sweet and persuasive speech. So even though these planets are not in longitude aspect they are still very effective. This is strengthened and affects society as well as his own career because of a contraparallel to Jupiter-Saturn-MC.
(click to enlarge graph) (click here to see natal chart Barack Obama
Notice that this declination pattern aligns very nicely with the declination of the USA Sibly chart’s Vertex and anti-Vertex, indicating a destined association.
If planets are both conjunct and parallel, then this is an extremely powerful position in a natal chart as it means that these two planets are in exactly the same place in the sky. If the orb is exact on both the conjunction and the parallel, then one planet occults the other.
As declinations are a measurement from the Earth’s equator, parallels give the ability to manifest things on Earth. I consider them a particularly strong ‘aspect’.
I have always thought that Out of Bounds Planets (planets that move beyond 23NS26 declination – the limit of the Sun’s declination movement) give the ability to think outside the square or behave in ways that are not the norm for your society.
Here is an illustration that shows how declinations are found: The line that shows the ecliptic is meant to be curved, but I have been unable to find a way to make it so on the diagram.
For futher information read antiscia article in the Aspects section and Out-of Bounds in the Technical Astrology section.
Copyright (c) Alice Portman 2009
If you found this article of interest and would like to make a small donation please click the Paypal button below: