The Vertex Axis in Relationships

The late L. Edward Johndro (30 January 1882, 12.30 am, Franklin Center, Canada – Vertex conjunct South Node in Gemini) first presented the Vertex for consideration to the astrological world. He reasoned that if the Ascendant was determined by the intersection of the Great Circles of the Ecliptic and Horizon and the MC was determined by the intersection of the Great Circles of the Meridian and Ecliptic, there should also be a very sensitive point of energy at the intersection of the Great Circles of the Prime Vertical and the Ecliptic. He called the western axis of this point the Vertex and the eastern the antiVertex. He felt that the Vertex was the electrical, the Ascendant the magnetic and the MC the gravity axis in a natal chart.

The late Charles Jayne of New York (9 October 1911, 10.53 pm, Jenkintown, PA, – antiVertex conjunct Mars in Gemini) also deduced that the Vertex was a very important point in a natal chart. He and his students researched this further and came to the conclusion that the Vertex axis seemed to describe fateful or karmic encounters with others which completely changed the lives of those involved. He felt that the western point, the Vertex, was the strongest side of the axis.

I first discovered the Vertex around 1976-77. To explore how it worked I adjusted the calculations to the Southern Hemisphere and then studied its effect on my clients when it was activated by transits, Solar Arcs and Progressions. This has given me a whole Saturn return period of “hands on” research with thousands of people.

Like Jayne and his students I found that the Vertex axis can be a very powerful factor in relationships. The Vertex axis conjunct any of the angles, in exact conjunction with house cusps and/or activating a planet in the other’s chart gives a feeling of ‘destiny’ in a relationship. These positions can describe the type of relationships that pull people together even if there are almost impossible obstacles to overcome, or if there seems to be no common ground for the couple.

Vertex connections touch the soul. An association with someone can last a few minutes or a lifetime but you always remember it. The book and film “The Bridges of Madison County” starring Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep, described this type of relationship.

Planets involved in Vertex axis connections usually describe the quality of the relationship, so one person’s Mars on another person’s Vertex would tend to give a very active and perhaps aggressive or passionate relationship, whereas one person’s Venus on the others Vertex axis would tend to give a gentle, sensual, loving relationship.

If you have a planet conjunct the Vertex axis it tends to make this axis the most powerful in your natal chart. If the Vertex axis is active, it takes precedence over the other angles.

To demonstrate how powerful a Vertex axis connection can be I will use the charts of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.

Brad Pitt

(Click chart to enlarge)
Brad Pitt

Brad has both Moon and Venus conjunct his antiVertex within a five degree orb (maximum orb is eight degrees). The Moon is ruler of his Vertex, so he has the ruler of his Vertex conjunct the antiVertex, making this axis very strong indeed.

A Moon-Vertex connection often makes the person appealing to the public and usually gives a destiny connected to the public in some area.

Angelina Jolie

(click to enlarge chart)
Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie is also a ‘Vertex person’ with both ends of the axis activated by planets.

Her Vertex is conjunct Neptune in the 5th house of creativity and children and trine the ruler of the MC, Mars. This clearly describes a ‘destined’ career in films. This conjunction also describes her constant travelling and, as Neptune is ruler of the 9th house, her affinity for children from foreign countries. It also gives a strongly Neptunian flavour to her whole chart.

Her Sun is conjunct the antiVertex. Sun-Vertex axis connections frequently give fame or prominence – and she certainly has that! As this conjunction is in the 11th house, it would draw her to solar types of people she is destined to know as friends.

Synastry between Brad and Angelina

(Brad is inside wheel and Angelina is outer wheel)

(click chart to enlarge)

Brand and Angelina synastry

Look what happens with the synastry between the two. Angelina’s Neptune-Vertex is conjunct Brad’s Ascendant and her Sun-antiVertex is conjunct his Descendant.

Brad’s Vertex is conjunct Angelina’s Venus-Ascendant and his Moon-Venus-antiVertex is conjunct her Descendant.

This is called a Vertex-Ascendant swap and indicates an enormously powerful connection between two people. If planets are involved as well, no wonder they couldn’t resist each other.

I must make it clear that this connection doesn’t necessarily make for a happy, peaceful relationship, it irresistibly draws the people to each other but other configurations determine what kind of relationship it will be.

I think the reason the attraction or repulsion with this swap can be so strong is because the Ascendant-Descendant is the magnetic axis and the Vertex-antiVertex is the electrical axis of the body so bringing the two together has an effect that at times has been described as a ‘lightning bolt’ .

For comparison lets look at the

Synastry between Brad Pitt and his first wife, Jennifer Aniston

(Brad is the inside wheel and Jennifer the outer wheel)  (click for natal chart of  Jennifer Aniston)

(click chart to enlarge)

Brad and Jennifer synastry

This too describes a strong connection, with Jennifer’s antiVertex conjunct Brad’s Ascendant and her Vertex his Descendant. However we don’t have a Ascendant-Vertex swap, instead we have Jennifer’s Midheaven conjunct Brad’s Vertex. The MC-IC axis is considered the gravity axis of a chart so we have Jen’s gravity axis conjunct Brad’s electrical axis. Though this combination usually shows a powerful, destined connection, it is usually not as strong as the electro-magnetic axis as it activates the career focus (MC) rather than the physical focus (Ascendant).

If planets are also involved there are few people who can resist the pull of Vertex-Ascendant and film stars (who are used to almost always getting what they want) are rarely amongst that few.

Once Brad and Angelina had any form of long term physical contact his relationship with Jennifer didn’t stand a chance. The film Mr and Mrs Smith gave them that connection and ended his marriage to Jennifer.

Composite Charts

The composite chart of Brad and Angelina increases the power of their attraction to each other.
(click chart to enlarge)
Brad and Angelina composite

The Ascendant-Vertex connection is just as strong in the composite as the synastry, but Uranus is conjunct Ascendant-Vertex and Mercury-Chiron are conjunct Descendant-antiVertex. This makes the relationship much less peaceful. Though the pull to each other is just as strong, the Uranus-Mercury involvement makes the situation unusual and rather ‘nervy’ and irritable. Uranus rules the composite 5th house, so they were destined to have children together (ruler of the 5th conjunct Vertex) and as Mercury rules the composite 9th house they were destined to travel together. Mercury also rules the 12th house of sexual pleasure and secrets so I think there is quite a bit going on that has not been exposed to the general public.

Transits to composite

Transits to the composite chart work very well. Brad and Angelina have recently experienced both transiting Pluto and transiting Saturn activating the composite Pluto-Node conjunction and are currently experiencing transiting Uranus opposite this conjunction. I am certain this has already caused a lot of stress and problems within this marriage.

In 2010 they will experience:

transiting Pluto square the Vertex configuration;

transiting Saturn conjunct Vertex-Uranus-Ascendant;

transiting Jupiter conjunct Mercury-Chiron-antiVertex-Descendant and

transiting Uranus opposite Pluto and transiting Saturn conjunct Pluto.

Ceres activates this configuration in April and May.

In early August Mars in Libra activates the configuration, probably bringing matters to  a head.

In late October-early November Ceres and the North Node in Capricorn are conjunct transiting Pluto and square the Vertex axis configuration bringing further ripples to the August Mars activation.

In 2011 transiting Uranus will conjunct Mercury-Chiron-antiVertex-Descendant.  click to see Brad and Angelina transitgraph

Click to see timeline Transits Bradangelina composite

I really doubt the union will last through these intense transits. The end of the relationship is highly likely. If it doesn’t end it will be completely restructured.

Once an Ascendant-Vertex relationship has ended, instead of the attraction that this configuration brought there tends to be an equivalent repulsion. The people involved can’t stand each other and often wonder what they saw in each other.  If this is the case for Brad and Angelina it poses some difficulties as they have three natural children and several adopted children to consider.

Brad and Jennifer

In contrast, here is the composite chart of Brad and Jennifer (click chart to enlarge)

Brad and Jennifer composite

This composite doesn’t have the ‘pull’ of the Ascendant-Vertex connections, but it does have planet-Vertex connections, indicating their relationship was also destined.  Notice the lovely exalted Jupiter conjunct Vertex, this suggests a very beneficial destined relationship, particularly as Jupiter is conjunct the 5th house of children and love.  I don’t know why they didn’t have children together, perhaps it was that rather difficult Saturn-Chiron conjunction near the cusp of the 5th house giving either a disinclination from at least one partner or difficulties in carrying a child to term.   If  the marriage had continued I am sure the Jupiter-Vertex would have successfully produced one child.

The Moon -antiVertex is just as strong and suggests their gentle appeal to the public, but the Moon in Capricorn could have also brought coldness at times.  Together they would have met Jupiterian and Lunar types of people whom they were destined to know.

Saturn transited the Vertex and Jupiter in 2003 and 2004.  This was probably the time span in which the movie was being made and indicated potential difficulties for their relationship.

Pluto transits to the difficult Uranus-Pluto opposing Saturn-Chiron in the composite chart during that time period also showed considerable problems and pressures within the marriage, which came to a head with the final Pluto transit in 2005.

Currently the Brad/Jennifer composite Vertex axis  is have the same Saturn-Pluto-Ceres-Node transits as the Brad/Angelina composite Vertex axis and is receiving a strong Mars activation in December 2010, when Mars transits the antiVertex, so there are further upheavals and perhaps transformations in this relationship as well.

Copyright (c) Alice Portman 2009

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