The quincunx, the YOD and the Pythagorean triangle are based on the 12th harmonic, which is found through dividing 360 degrees by 12 which equals 30 degrees. The multiples of this division give us the:
semi-sextile 30 degrees;
sextile 30 x 2 = 60
square 30 x 3 = 90
trine 30 x 4 = 120
quincunx 30 x 5 = 150
opposition 30 x 6 = 180
As you can see, all the Ptolemaic aspects are derived from the 12th harmonic series.
The quincunx aspect:
Maximum orb is 2 degrees.
The quincunx aspect is a little like a bridge between signs that are different by element and modality. Therefore they allow the person to have a rather quirky, flexible approach to situations that may cause puzzles or problems to those who don’t have planets in these signs. For this reason it often appears in the charts of those who are skilled at problem solving.
Quincunxes often describe a sense of humour – the ability to see the funny side of life in almost all circumstances – so they regularly appear in the charts of comedians. This is particularly emphasised if the quincunx is involved in a Pythagorean triangle (three or more planets in a square, quincunx and trine interlocking aspect) the type of humour is shown by the planets involved in the configuration.
Here is the chart of Australian comedian Barry Humphries who has attained fame as Dame Edna Everage.
(click to enlarge chart)
As you can see, he has a quincunx between his MC and Ceres-Uranus. This makes up a Pythagorean triangle with Pluto-Vertex. Pluto is ruler of his MC and conjunct the Vertex, giving a ‘destined’ career. In the sign Cancer this career is in the public eye and in the 5th house in the area of entertainment. It’s interesting that Barry attained considerable fame through dressing as a woman (Cancer). Uranus, the ruler of the Ascendant, in Aries in the 3rd house gives him considerable skill in communication and the sharp, quirky wit for which he is renowned. Conjunct Ceres again suggests that this involves a female focus. Barry’s chart is particularly powerful as the Pythagorean triangle involves the ruler of his Ascendant and his MC and a planet conjunct the Vertex – so all three angles are emphasised.
The quincunx aspect by itself will always show when there are changes in the life. The signs and houses involved describe the area of change. As the unexpected is a keynote of the quincunx, these changes require you to be both flexible in approach and ‘on your toes’ when they are activated.
The potential for Long distance travel is almost always shown in the chart by a quincunx, either through transits, progressions or directions involving a planet in the 9th house or the ruler of the 9th house. It shows so frequently at times of travel because travel itself requires you to be flexible and open to changes
The quincunx aspect is almost always present when there is death as death also describes a period of considerable change both for the person who dies and their family and friends. The quincunx will involve the eighth house or the ruler of the eighth and the house that describes the person who dies. E.g. if there is a transit of Jupiter in the 4th house making a quincunx to Venus in the 8th house, which in turn rules the sign on the cusp of the 4th house, then a parent is likely to be the person who dies.
Home moves also almost always have a quincunx transit, progression or direction as does conception and childbirth.
It can even show up when you meet the love of your life as this is likely to completely change your life.
The YOD pattern
A YOD is made up of two planets in sextile (60°) aspect and a third planet in a quincunx (150°) aspect to both of them. Ideally the third planet should be making up a close to exact midpoint structure with the other two. The outside orb for a YOD is 2 degrees, unless it makes up a midpoint structure, in which case it can stretch to 2 degrees 30 minutes.
There are all kinds of mystical interpretations for a YOD as it is also called “The Finger of God”, but from my perspective it is an entirely practical aspect pattern requiring commonsense and flexibility in the areas activated by the planets involved. If outer planets are involved in a YOD, then the person tends to have very powerful and often stressful experiences that change their perspective and outlook on life. These experiences develop an awareness and insight that can give considerable wisdom.
Here is an example of a true YOD pattern involving Venus-Uranus-Pluto, with Venus at the point of the YOD. This pattern makes up the midpoint structure of Venus = Uranus/Pluto
Transits, progressions and directions that make a YOD pattern either with the natal chart or the progressed chart herald a powerful time in the life.
If just ordinary quincunx transits can indicate big changes in the life, imagine what transits making up a YOD in the natal chart can do! It can greatly intensify the power of the transit and place considerable emphasis on the planet at the point of the YOD and the house and sign in which it resides. It suggests major changes or considerable adjustment in matters connected to that planet, its house and sign through the people or circumstances described by the transiting planet(s).
This transit can be read as a midpoint transit, so it is handy to have a good midpoint interpretation book on hand – a couple of classics are Rules for Planetary Pictures’ by Witte-Lefeldt and Ebertin’s ‘ Combination of Stellar Influences’; These should give some idea of what to expect.
If you have a natal YOD, transits, progressions or directions that activate this configuration will indicate important times in the life. If the YOD involves outer planets, then when that outer planet activates either of the other legs of the YOD by transit you are likely to have some powerful experiences that can make core changes to your nature and your approach to life.
The YOD illustrated above had transiting Uranus conjunct natal Pluto at age 13 when the person fell in love for the first time and transiting Uranus conjunct natal Venus at age 46, when she met a person who completely changed her environment and her life. True to the nature of Venus = Uranus/Pluto, neither of these experiences were easy as both required involvement with people from completely different walks of life. Interestingly both also involved the development of more strength and flexibility in the body – at age 13 through a sport and at age 46 through yoga.
I tend to think that transits by an outer planet to a natal YOD can, at times, have an almost Plutonic effect as the focus and intensity of this configuration can transform your life.
Copyright (c) Alice Portman 2009
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