Sunday, 31 January 2010

Solar arc directions and midpoints

It seems impossible to use all predictive methods while reading a chart, even all the widely used ones. At some point, you have to make a choice. It's not an easy one, because every astrologer swears by the method they use and treats it like gospel. At the same time, however, the most common advice they usually give in their books is "use the one that works for you". The same as house systems. I've never heard more useless advice. All this says is that we haven't tested anything, so we cling to our methods and try to find something in the chart, no matter how trivial, to explain every event in the life of a client.
I'm not placing any blame on other astrologers, since I, too, haven't done any extensive research and I know how boring research can be. Consequently, I've based my choice on whether or not I like the concept behind each method. For this reason alone (which means I can be completely wrong), I've more or less excluded solar arcs and midpoints from my readings.
I don't like solar arcs, because, unlike secondary progressions, they are not "real" charts. They do not exist in the heavens. A secondary progressed chart for your 20th year, for example, is the natal chart of a person born 20 days later. It is real, it is based on the actual movement of all planets at their own particular pace. Which means, that the aspects you have in the natal chart can change in the progressed one, which, in my opinion gives it more subtlety. A square can become a trine or vice versa. Not so in solar arcs, because all planets are moved at the same pace, that of the Sun, so the aspects remain the same. You will never have a progressed New Moon or Full Moon in the solar arc chart, quite important moments in your life, because the distance between the Sun and the Moon always remains the same. I have a look at the solar arc chart, only to check if a progressed planet has reached a natal angle. Nothing more. Of course, one can argue that the solar arc progressed planets form aspects to the natal ones and these may be important. Again, not real ones. It is for the same reason that from the traditional predictive methods, I prefer primary directions to profections or firdaria.
What I find extremely funny about midpoints is that it is a method used by modern astrologers, who hate traditional astrology, even though the concept of midpoints is entirely traditional in its origin. The logic behind it is more or less the same as that of Arabic Parts. You take two planets that, when combined, produce a specific result. What I also find interesting is that the Mars/Saturn midpoint very often equals death. Why so? Haven't we cleared the name of these two planets? Aren't they considered "good" nowadays? So, it seems that the ancients were right after all in calling them "malefics". What is also very funny is that modern astrologers hate to mention death or illness when it comes to the 8th and 6th houses and they use words like transformation and service. But when it comes to midpoints, they have no problem whatsoever in pronouncing death.
What I personally don't like about Arabic Parts and midpoints is that we use the same two planets in every chart and say that they indicate the same thing. Yes, all planets have some natural rulerships (again very traditional in concept), but I don't feel comfortable with that and I prefer to also check the houses they rule. What if Mars is the ruler of my Ascendant and Saturn the ruler of my Midheaven? Why would the midpoint of these two planets in my case indicate death? Furthermore, shouldn't we evaluate the two planets? Is it the same when Mars is in Aries or when it is in Cancer? In Arabic Parts at least, we usually check the condition of the ruler of the Arabic Part, but not so in midpoints.
I must stress again that these are my personal views, which may change in the future. Learning astrology is a lifelong process and we've witnessed many top astrologers take a radical turn in their beliefs. Moreover, since I'm not a specialist in either of the two methods, feel free to comment on what I have written and who knows, I may have a change of heart. I have done so in the past, more than once. I strongly believe that in astrology we must never speak ex cathedra, like the Pope, but instead always keep saying: "I can be wrong".


  1. But still solar arcs work much better than e.g. solar returns!!! I find folar arcs an extremely reliable predictive technique, but I certainly share your frustration when it comes to explaining why would such a method work. On the other hand do you find the principles of horary astrology better founded? I dont! Midpoints are of significance too, but I think Ebertin exagurated their importance in order to "sell" his system. Some people, like Noel Tyl, actually consider rulerships when studying midpoint pictures.

  2. It's not that I mind so much the fact that I can't explain WHY they work. I'm not yet convinced that they DO work, at least as much as secondary progressions.