Much of horary practice focuses on principles of action. But sometimes, our work hinges on recognising signatures for constructive non-action. If we rush to fill in the blank spaces, we risk missing how a vacuum – of action, change or initiative – is key to understanding the nature of our present dilemma.
Non-action rests in the spaces between the activity undertaken by planets without involving the main significators, and the broader theme and tenor of the chart’s collective testimonies. The two charts below demonstrate how these intertwine.
Chart 1: Will the judicial review find in my favour?
The querent leased a portion of her building to a couple as a residential space, but later learned the contract did not include a small portion of the home that should’ve been part of the residential floorplan. This space eventually flooded, and the querent was dismayed to find she was being held financially and legally responsible for a part of the property she could not reach and for years had thought to be under her tenant’s occupancy. She sued to have the property properly redlined, but lost her case. The querent had lost a series of appeals to have that original decision reversed, and the last legal option available to her was an appeal for judicial review at the Royal Courts of London. She wanted to know whether the judicial review would find in her favour, and reverse the decisions of the lower courts.
Jupiter is her significator. She bore little of Jupiter in her appearance – she was mature in age, small and thin with fine blonde-white hair, wearing muted colours and earth tones. But she embodied Jupiter wholly in her disposition, and in perspective. The querent was tenacious, unwilling to let go of a legal battle that had plagued her for nigh on two decades, carrying absolute confidence in the justness of her plight.
As she described the successive stages of defeat that preceded her current juncture, and the rising sense of urgency that these continual denials had stirred within her (note the Moon in Aries at the foundation of this chart), the position of Jupiter began to take new meaning. Its angularity initially caused me to feel optimistic for the querent’s outlook at the judicial review; but if we step back from the static picture of primary motion offered by the chart and consider the situation we’re evaluating is dynamic and fluid, another picture can emerge.
The flood had occurred almost nineteen years ago, and she’d been in court for seventeen. Notice that the ascendant is nineteen degrees into its sign. Jupiter had spent the last two hours rising within the 1st house, and was at the time of consultation reaching (by primary motion) the final limits of angularity. As the ascendant moves forward just seventeen minutes of arc to 19° Sagittarius 37’, Jupiter slips into passivity in the cadent 12th house: a planet exhausted of strength. The judicial review was the querent’s last chance at a reversal, and the fact that the number of minutes separating Jupiter from its ingress into the 12th house correspond with the number of years she’d been in active litigation, I felt that Jupiter’s angularity spoke more strongly about the immediacy of the querent’s need, and how quickly her hope was to being extinguished.
The 10th house has a cardinal sign on its cusp, which could indicate the judgement’s vulnerability to pressure. Venus, ruling the 10th, is about to change signs. This certainly looks like a viable path toward a reversal – but I noticed that as Venus progressed it moved into its sign of fall. It’s currently in partile square to the 12th cusp, and moves toward a conjunction to the 12th-ruler Mars. My suspicion was that even if this reversal were to happen, the querent would find herself in worse shape, that a change now would begin an entirely new cycle of arbitration that I suspected would be followed by regret, irritation and worry. The querent confirmed this, saying that the reversal would only open the door for re-negotiation of the lease line (note Mars rules the 4th house). She seemed exhausted at that prospect, yet intent to proceed irrespective of the personal cost involved. This had become “a matter of principle,” she said. This is the attitude you can reliably expect from a significator if it is dignified and angular, especially in one of the angles indicating ascendancy. Dignified planets are very much in touch with their core principle, and believe you should be, too. Angularity gives them the latitude needed to do something about it.
Dignified planets are very much in touch with their core principle, and believe you should be, too. Angularity gives them the latitude needed to do something about it.
The Moon is placed in the 4th house, and on one level relates to the furied (Aries) emotive (Moon) energy driving the querent’s actions. The Moon translates from Jupiter to the Sun by a received trine. I walked the querent thought the Moon’s contacts, explaining that I would normally be thrilled to find a received trine between the luminaries. But I also relayed concerns that the testimony offered by this aspect reports a securing of the existing agreement, and financial benefit to the querent’s opponents. The Moon rules the opponents’ 2nd house, and is placed in the 4th; the opponents’ 2nd-ruler applies to a dignified Sun ruling an intercepted sign in that house; the 10th-ruler Venus was placed in the 8th – all of which upholds the opponents’ financial interests. The Moon applies to a planet in a fixed sign with reception, and as that planet was the Sun, it seemed to me that the decision of former judges would be upheld (planets receiving from a fixed sign have a way of ensuring that what is accomplished under their aspect does not fundamentally change things). Venus is the only planet capable of developing a theme of a change in judgement, but she is peregrine and heavily debilitated by combustion, placement in the 8th, and a partile conjunction with 12th-ruler Mars. She simply didn’t have the strength in signification to make the path to an overturned decision viable.
The querent emailed some months later to say that the verdict had come in from the Royal Courts of London: they would not be overturning the previous decisions, and the querent’s appeal was ultimately unsuccessful. But as we can suspect with an angular Jupiter with a generative Sun/Moon trine, the news (though devastating to the querent) paved new avenues of possibility. The querent is in her 70s, and with this looming twenty-year weight now finally decided, she found herself in a position to move on with life and focus on enjoying her retirement.
Chart 2: Reversal of decision?
The querent had an appointment with the US Social Security Administration to review her request for a renewal of benefits. Given the political and economic climate, she was concerned that it would be harder for her to renew than it had been previously, and was deeply concerned that her benefits would not be renewed.
Notice the date of this chart – this question was asked at an awkward moment in the history of American governance. Biden had won the general election back in November, and the insurrection came on January 6. The combustion of 10th ruler Saturn shows an administration preparing to change. The Sun also rules the 4th house, and as the 7th from the 10th, it shows the incoming Biden administration. Biden officially accepted the Democratic Party’s nomination when the Moon was translating from a trine to Mars in Aries to a conjunction of the Sun in Leo – the Sun at 24° Capricorn, the sign of Mars’ exaltation, mingles the solar-martial energetic signatures carried by the Moon on the evening of his nomination.
But before the Sun is in Mars’ exaltation, it is in Saturn’s home; Saturn disposits the opposing party’s significator, which I think says that this administration will be remembered as one responding to the extinguished threat (therefore centring Trumpism by crafting platform/party identity around it) rather than standing in its own light. The Sun’s nearing ingress into Aquarius, its sign of detriment, suggests the administration will struggle to establish an authentic public image, and be questioned on matters of courage and resiliency. “Nothing will fundamentally change,” Biden told a room full of wealthy donors during the primaries, and I cannot think of a better picture of this than the Sun moving to Aquarius in a cadent house, joining a very aged Saturn.
And you can see the recent major disruption from the January 6 insurrection in this chart. Notice Saturn’s recent square from Mars in the 12th, and impending square to Uranus in the same. This chart describes the Trump administration as stuck and in a tight place, with explosive forces once acting in unison now crashing the scene, working at destructive cross-purposes.
So the question is – has this event in any way added more volatility to the mix? Does the chart show any indication that there will be an interruption to benefits, or perhaps an outright denial?
The 2nd ruler, the Moon, is so closely aligned with the culminating angle. I thought this a great signature of a petition to the government for funds. Both the Moon and the midheaven are in the middle of a fixed sign, disposited by Saturn (the slowest planet), also in a fixed sign.
The signature of Saturn is strong in this chart; by triplicity and sign, he disposits the ascendant, midheaven, both luminaries, the two superiors, the ascendant-ruler Mercury, and Venus. Mars, Venus and the Sun are in the earthy triplicity, which finds humoural accord as both are cold and dry (Saturn even governs the corresponding temperament, melancholy). So, it would be fair to acknowledge that Saturn is undergoing some stress in this chart – but that can all be understood to be descriptive of what was going on with the federal government at the time. The querent’s signification is strong. She is aided by an angular Moon, and the ascendant-ruler being in trine to the ascendant (a strong indication of having greater agency than we realise!).
I show this chart to demonstrate how so much action in a chart can still be quite irrelevant to the hard facts of what’s being asked. The querent’s anxiety about the political instability manifested in the chart – it’s expected to, in fact, as this kind of mind-merge of the personal with the impersonal is a foundational precept in divinatory experiences. Part of the study of astrology is learning how to recognise motion in the chart – where the motion is coming from, where it’s at now, and where it’s going. Your querent may have a role in this, they may not; in this case, the motion was entirely in the background, and the querent had nothing to worry about.
She emailed a few weeks later to say she had had her benefits renewed without a problem.