oday, astrology is recognized as the inner expression of psychological make-up combined with periods of time in which certain events are most likely to occur. This site is designed to fulfill this statement by primarily exploring the timing of circumstances and help in searching for deeper self-understanding. Through the use of the 30° wheel (12th harmonic), we find a wonderful model that is easy to use and covers many bases for other purposes such as finding the synastry (relationship) between two people. Most importantly, the 30 symbol is the backbone of the chart, it reveals the hierarchical urges found in one's expression and desire for accomplishment.
A unique assessment of the planets can be accomplished by arranging the planets in a "stack." That is, by arranging the planets in numerical order by longitude. In my experience, I find that the mathematical expression of longitude for the Sidereal zodiac is more accurate for this exercise, the Tropical positions are NOT at all satisfactory.
The first step is to recognize that no planet is ever less than zero degrees (0°) or exceeds 29° 59' by longitude regardless of the sign they are located (unless you use the Right Ascension). For this exercise, list the planets in numerical order by longitude by placing the highest degree on top of the list and working down to the lowest degree. Disregard the signs and houses for now. Once listed, separate the list into three groups similar to the decanates. Group one ranges from 0° to 10°; group two ranges from 10° 01' to 20°; group three is from 20° 01' to 29° 59'. Each group or decanate designates one of three main departments of life.
The first ten-degree decanate represents the existential package that makes us uniquely us: our circumstances, talents, parental influence, and aptitudes. Planets located in this department are what we draw upon to reference our motives and categorize our experiences. Sometimes an individual who has no planets placed in the lower decanate, such as Gandhi. An empty first decanate does not mean that there is no identity, but that the individual is more prone to work the middle section, the section that relates to changes. In this particular situation, the individual develops a philosophy that allows them to understand a sense of "non-permanence" as their identity package. For these individuals, change is the hallmark of their existence. They are able to take in stride the many changes in their lives that may occur in many diverse ways.
The second ten-degree or middle decanate reflect the changes in our lives and how we respond to them. Planets found within this arena are the schools we attend the circumstances or obstacles that seem to keep us from advancing or sometimes the school of hard knocks. Once surmounted, they give us the insight and courage to face any further obstacles to achieve our goals. If this section is vacant, it generally describes an individual who has the "Midas touch." He simply moves from his personal ideas to achieving his goals without the hassle of having to make adjustments or fight for them.
The third ten-degree segment reflects the ideals or goals we seek. Planets so placed are what inspire us like the proverbial carrot on a stick. The closer to the 29° mark, the harder we will work for it. We are in a hurry to get there but reluctant to leave, for we want to savor the experience of late degree planets. A lack of planets or a vacant position here indicates that the individual may be content with his lifestyle and not want to move beyond his present position. In this case the middle section becomes the goal and change for change sake becomes the ideal. Without late degree planets, we often see people with "nomadic" lifestyles, whose ephemeral interests are dictated by transiting planets.
In addition, the stack arrangement allows us to further review the planets by intensity and modification. Each planet so placed in the stack is between two other planets. We observe one planet in the stack and note the planets above and below it. This tri-planet configuration is called a triad. Triads are a combination of any three planets within the planetary stack. By selecting individual triads from the stack we can easily grasp how to form an opinion of the middle planet by the company it keeps. To do this, note which planet is closer to the middle planet by degree. The closer the center planet is to another by degree, the more influence it exerts. Conversely, the farther away a planet is the less influence. The upper planet is seen as a positive influence, the lower more negative. For example, let us use Mars as the middle planet with Jupiter above Mars and Venus below. Should Mars be closer to Jupiter by degree, it will exert more of what is called "heart", similar to the will to win in the field of sports. If the aspects between Jupiter are favorable, like a trine or sextile, there is a determination to finish what one has started. Conversely if the aspects between Mars and Jupiter are negative, then the will to finish a project may be weakened. Should Mars be closer to the soft or compassionate subtleties of Venus, Mars becomes decidedly artistic, joyful and harmonious, even more so with good aspects. Because Jupiter is involved in the triad, the artistic nature may look to the larger picture for expression. However, the lower Venus influence may indicate disappointment in an artistic field, either by commission or omission.