©2009 by Donna Cunningham
Of late, my guides, ghosts, or whatever have been nagging–er, I mean prompting–me to look into the obscure astrological aspects called antiscia. I haven’t thought about them in years, and in fact, I didn’t believe that anyone had written or lectured much about them since my one-time teacher, Charles Jayne crossed over into that great astrology congress in the sky. It appears that the recent resurgence of interest in classic astrology texts has resulted in several articles about them on the internet that we’ll refer to later.
The antiscia (Charles pronounced it an-tih-sha) are a seldom-used aspect between two natal planets, between a natal and a transiting planet, or between two people’s planets in a chart comparison.
It’s said to represent a covert or hidden connection which can sometimes be helpful, sometimes difficult. It depends on whether the planets are complimentary to one another (like the Sun and Moon, or Jupiter and Mercury, or Venus and Mars) or whether they are difficult (like Saturn to the Sun or Neptune to Venus). Others claim it creates a kind of mirroring between the two planets, or some sort of shadow effect–the Greek word ‘scia‘ means shadows. Vague, no? Even covert.
That doesn’t answer the question of why we should find them even remotely interesting or pertinent today. It’s because antiscia have as their origin the solstice points of 0° Capricorn and Cancer, and right now, for the first time since the 1980s, we have one of the slower moving planets–Pluto–crossing 0° Capricorn. The last such ingresses into Capricorn were Neptune in 1984 and the pair of Uranus and Saturn in 1988. Before that, the last time Pluto went into Capricorn was in 1762, Neptune did it in 1820, and Uranus in 1904.
To cut to the chase, those who are most directly affected in these next few years are those with planets or the Ascendant or Midheaven near the end of Sagittarius. If you have one or more in that range, and you thought Pluto was finished transforming you, think again! A natal planet at 29° Sagittarius finds its transiting antiscion at 1° Capricorn, when both planets are an equal distance from the Sun’s solstice point at 0° Capricorn. Other of Pluto’s antiscia points in the near future are: 28° Sag at 2° Cap; 27° Sag at 3° Cap, 26° Sag at 4° Cap, 25° Sag at 5° Cap, and so on. (Antiscia is plural, so a single such aspect is an antiscion.)
For more explanation of the meanings and uses of antiscia, I will refer you to the article, “Parallel and Antiscion: A Paradox for the Solstice,” at http://altairastrology.wordpress.com/2007/12/18/a-paradox-for-the-solstice/. There is a also related type of aspect called contra-antiscia which is just about TMI for me! For those who want technical details and classical origins, Deborah Houlding discusses the ancient Greek and Latin roots at http://www.skyscript.co.uk/antiscia.html.
She says, “The theory underlying antiscia appears to have been influenced by Pythagorean philosophy, which claimed that every force in the universe has a balancing counter-force…The Greek term ‘scia‘ means shadows. At some unknown date the philosophy of ‘opposite-shadows’ or ‘reflective-degrees’ was incorporated into astrology in the belief that each degree of the zodiac has its own counter degree, mirroring its distance from the solstice axis on the opposite side of the chart.”
If you’re wondering why I wrote this post, so am I. I did it mainly to get my guides, whoever they might be, off my back. And to alert those with late Sagittarian planets that there’s more where Pluto came from. Research the internet–I’ve got nothing more to say on this arcane topic. If any who read this have more info on what it all means in real life (NOT the technical part, pleeeeeeeeease), I’d welcome your comments. (And, boy, did I get comments! Do have a look!)
Addition on August 14, 2009: WHY PLUTO IS JUST THE BEGINNING!! DUELING ANTISCIA COMING UP!
Let me just say that it’s been a source of bemusement that this particular post has consistently wound up in the top ten list of all my posts. It was done, frankly, as a bit of appeasement to some dearly departed astrologer (again, Charles Jayne comes to mind), rather than as something I was actively watching. It was written in late February, and the article is long since buried on page 35 or so of my list of posts–except that at least a couple of times a week, I get a flurry of visits to it. It must be a current question on the forums, since this is the first time since 1984 that an outer planet has crossed either 0° Capricorn or 0° Cancer.
Have you heard of that Big, Bad t-square everyone’s talking about during parts of 2010-11 that consists of Pluto in early Capricorn, Uranus in early Aries, and Saturn in early Libra? The one that whole conferences are planned around and special issues of magazines and journals?
What I’m realizing now is that each end of that t-square will also be at the antiscia of 0° Cap/Cancer. (At 0° Aries or Libra, Uranus and Saturn are 90° from 0° Capricorn. They are also at the contra-antiscia points, but puleez ask someone else about that. We’ve reached the outer limits of my math savvy and/or interest.) Perhaps that’s what’s keeping the antiscia aspect in people’s awareness.
What does it mean, then, that the t-square in early cardinal signs is also, by default, at the antiscia/contra-antiscia points? I have yet to run across anything cogent and detailed that anyone wrote about the natal or transiting impact of these aspects on actual people’s lives. In order for me to believe something is significant, I need direct and specific clinical observations about what happened with these aspects: CASES, not theory from the middle ages or some Greek or Chaldean philosopher. (Sorry, Charles, Robert, no disrespect intended. You know that I know I’m not worthy!)
All I can reasonably surmise is that–IF this aspect were of any great significance–it would intensify the effect of an already intense transit. My long-term observations of the outer planets in combination is that where such an aspect has formed–as Pluto, Uranus, and Saturn also did in the 1930s–people who have those degrees in their birth charts are directly and personally impacted by the historical/social events that transpire, whereas those who do not have those degrees or hard angles to them are not so personally affected.
(Observations about Pluto-Saturn aspects and Saturn-Uranus aspects are detailed in their respective chapters in The Outer Planets and Inner Life, Volume 3, available at moonmavenpublications.com)
And, no, if these degrees ARE prominent in your own chart or the chart of a loved one, kindly don’t ask me to look at it. Be merciful to an old lady–I am thoroughly, completely, and irrevocably retired from doing individual charts .
More Articles about the Lesser-Known Aspects:
- Understanding Semisquares—Your Input Needed
- Understanding the Sesquiquadrate—Your Input Needed
- Understanding Septiles–Your Input Needed
- Understanding Quintiles—What’s YOUR Talent?
- Understanding the BiQuintile—Your Input Needed
- Quincunx vs. BiQuintile–an Answer from Numerology?
- Understanding the Mundane Square—Your Input Needed
- Mundane square case study: Outtake from a Moon-Pluto Life
- Is the Semi-Sextile a Good Aspect or a Bad One?
- Neptune & Uranus in Mutual Reception
- Pluto and the transiting Antiscia–not Over ’til It’s Over
- The Antiscia are Coming! The Antiscia are Coming!
More Posts about Pluto on this Blog:
- Things You May Not Know about Pluto
- Pluto in the Career Houses–The Power to Manifest or Fail for Spite
- Vocational Angst for the Pluto-Uranus in Virgo Generation
- Pluto in Capricorn: A Laugh and a Half, by John Marchesella
- The Steamy Side of Venus-Pluto Aspects—A Photo Gallery
- High Maintenance–a Venus-Pluto Vignette
- Mars-Pluto Aspects? Use your Manifestation Mojo!
- Planet or Not—Pluto IS Something!
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Art credits: Like most of the art on this blog, the drawings here come from http://www.clipart.com. I am very fond of this particular character, whom I call question mark man because so many of the drawings have question marks or bemused expressions on his face. I guess I identify with his puzzlement about life and the dilemmas we meet. Life IS a perennial puzzle, is it not? Always a surprise ending. I’d dearly love to know who the artist is so I could write a fan letter, so if you ever run into him/her, do let me know.