Posted by: Donna Cunningham | April 26, 2011

Part 5: The Royal Family: A Quincunx Coincidence—or a Yod Occurrence?

©4-26-2011 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

As part of our miniseries on the quincunx, a 150° aspect, several readers have asked me to write about Yods, which are a triangle with two planets sextile one another, while both are quincunx a third planet. (This little-understood configuration is also called an Eye of God or Finger of Fate.)

As we’ve seen earlier in this miniseries, quincunxes create tension as the person tries to make two planets work together that are placed in two signs and generally in two houses that have nothing whatsoever in common with one another, so their needs are at cross-purposes to one another.

Imagine trying to combine Sagittarius and Cancer,  Aries and Scorpio, or Virgo and Aquarius, and you’ll begin to see what I mean.

(You’ll find links below to the whole series of articles on the quincunx.)

To do the Yod justice, I’d have to analyze the two quincunxes in depth, complete with house placements, then add in the sextile, and then put all three together.  We’re talking 10,000 words–a book chapter, not a blog piece–but here’s a brief summary of what makes this configuration tough to handle.

In a Yod, the planet at the peak of the triangle is pivotal, since it receives quincunxes from two planets that are in a harmonious sextile to one another.   You could say that the planet at the peak is the Yod man out, the unwelcome 3rd person who makes a crowd,  and yet you can’t disinvite it from the action without neglecting some crucial needs.

Students, in case you’d like to try your hand at it, here are some interesting and timely data to play with in the charts of the British royals—a Yod bunch if I ever encountered one. (Each of the royals has a link to their record and chart in AstroDataBank.)  

William, Prince (1982):  Prince William’s chart has a Yod with Pluto in Libra in the 9th sextile Neptune in Sag, which is in the 12th but conjunct the Ascendant. Both Pluto and Neptune–outer, transpersonal planets–are quincunx his Venus in Taurus in the 5th at the peak of the yod.

This young man should be a loving and devoted father, most likely of little girls, but the demands of his royal duties will pull him away from home more often than he likes.

Diana, Princess of Wales had a Yod with a Mars-Pluto conjunction in Virgo in the 8th sextile Mercury in Cancer in the 7th, both quincunx Jupiter in Aquarius in the 2ndat the peak of the Yod.

The Mars-Pluto conjunction in the 8th as part of a yod speaks of her tragic death arising from her great popularity (Jupiter in Aquarius) and the incessant hounding by the press (Mercury). 

Sarah, Duchess of York  has a conjunction of Venus and Pluto at the Midheaven in Virgo sextile Mercury and Neptune in Scorpio in the 12th. Both are quincunx her impetuous Moon in Aries in the 4th at the peak of the Yod. 

To me, this is the most interesting Yod of the lot, for it explains why she’s forever stepping in it in as public a manner as possible. (The end result is that she was DIS-invited from the wedding of her good chum’s son.)

I don’t think we’ve seen the last of scandals involving Sarah.  When Pluto and Saturn aspected her Moon at the peak of that Yod a couple of years back, she got in trouble wioth a scheme she got into while trying to pay off her considerable debts.  In 2012-13, Uranus in Aries will make a series of conjunctions to it.  With Uranus transits to the Moon, one typical outcome is a series of moves. I’m not sure whether she still lives next door to her ex-husband or not, but it’s doubtful she’ll wind up there.  She often speaks of moving to the US.

 (To round out the cast of characters, the royals without yods but with a sprinkling of quincunxes are: Elizabeth II, Queen of EnglandCharles, Prince of WalesCamilla, Duchess of Cornwall, (Harry) Henry, Prince (1984) England and Philip, Prince Consort.)

 Some good articles elsewhere on the astrology of the royal wedding:

 Joyce Hopewell Astrological Chart Interpretations: The Royal Wedding No Yod, thank God, but the current stellium in Aries is in the 10th with Venus at the Midheaven. Tell me an astrologer didn’t have a hand in that—especially since Wills’ Mum was a believer!

 The Oxford Astrologer: Royal Wedding Astrology: Juno Lends a   an interpretation of the progressions.  And some thoughts on Kate’s 8:00 AM chart, since the time is unknown, here: The Oxford Astrologer: Catherine Middleton’s Birth Chart: Cool .  Her Cancer Moon is conjunct either William’s Cancer Sun or Moon.

UPDATE:  Astrologer, Marc Penfield, who was one of Lois Rodden’s most dedicated and meticulous data collectors, reported that he heard from someone in England who’d seen the birth record. It said January 9th, 1982 at 11:33 PM, Reading,  England.  (The data should still be considered tentative until confirmed.)

 Readers, share your thoughts about the Royal Yods and the Royal Wedding in the comment section.   

To learn more about quincunxes, see the miniseries here on Skywriter:

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Art Credits:  Kate Middleton by Nick Warner from Windsor, England at :rince William’s photo was originally posted to Flickr by Rob the moment at


  1. I’m a raving fan of Her Majesty the Queen (something tells me that she’s got a killer sense of humour!)
    Also a huge fan of the little one (who would’ve guessed that that tiny freckled boy would turn out so freakin’ cool!)
    And that’s about it 😉

  2. Thank you for the post Donna….. but I am distracted by those terrible hats that they keep putting on the poor girl!!! 😦

    • LOL! According to the profiles I’m seeing on TV, Kate is very much her own stylist and shops for her own clothes. Donna

  3. I too am a QE II fan. I hope she has a wonderful time Friday – and I can’t wait to see all the royal hats!

    What do others think about Venus conjunct Chiron in Prince William’s chart? It seems to accentuate the personal role he will ‘play’ expressing the Neptune-Jupiter sextile, with sensitivity and good sense.

  4. Thank you Donna. I have a Yod with Venus Sextile Mars pointing to Neptune. I’ve tried to find information on the Internet about it but there is not a lot written about it. Your examples are very informative and helpful in understanding the interactions.

    May I ask two questions. Why do you capitalize Yod? Also, what is a “golden Yod?”

    • I think Yod is most often capitalized, just as is Grand Trine, T-Square, and other well-recognized astrological configurations.

      Here’s what the WikiPedia section on astrology has to say:

      “Golden Yod–Related to the Yod, though much less inharmonious and more rarely noticed, is the golden yod. A golden yod occurs when one planet forms biquintiles (144° aspect) to two others separated by a quintile (72° aspect). Because these aspects are seen as benefic, the golden yod is seen as benefic and often as reflecting characteristics acquired by the person whose chart contains it.

      “Those few astrologers who have studied it regard it as an extremely creatively charged aspect good for artistic skill, especially as quintiles and biquintiles are frequently linked with Neptune.

      “An example of a golden yod would be with the Sun at 20° Cancer, Uranus at 8° Taurus and Jupiter at 14° Sagittarius.”


      • Hello Donna, thank you for this interesting information.
        I just found out I have one such golden, but with the North Node in the 3rd on the top, Pluto 8th and Jupiter 11th. I’ll try to check if it is working this way too.

  5. Hi Donna,
    I’m doing a BBC TV interview on Friday, after the wedding and I’ve asked and asked for Kate’s birth time…how accurate is this time?
    Birth times are NOT written on English birth certificates, so how did Mark’s friend find this?

    Click to access MEDIA%20BRIEFING%20DOC%20110411.pdf

    We know Kate was born in Reading…and the date, would be SO interested to know his time’s source as for my TV spot I have to talk about his and hers charts..and I made a guestimate of Libra rising as she’s so polite…xx

    • Hi, Mary, what an exciting opportunity for you! (Folks, Mary is the British author of several books on astrology, and her publlisher recently permitted us to reprint an article from her latest one, How to Bond with an Aquarius.)

      Marc Penfield, unfortunately, is not accessible, but he was a dedicated and meticulous collector of data for Lois Rodden, who was the field’s standard setter in data accuracy.

      He didn’t say birth certificate, he said birth record, so I’m assuming it was something on the order of a baptismal certificate or a newspaper report at the time. It’s not solid evidence, so you’d best be tentative about its accuracy–possible birth time, based on a report from someone who had seen the birth record. Donna

      • thank you Donna will keep a sense of perspective xx

      • Hello Donna,
        I am also interested in Kate’s time of birth. 11:33 pm might be right, but it’s also the very deepest part of the lunar eclipse she was born under.

        Why this interests me, is because on my aging Solar Fire 4, there is a “Clifford chart collection” with William’s time, given as 12:04 pm, which happens to be the exact moment of the eclipse on his day of birth. Which is the wrong time.

        So I am wondering if Clifford was Penfield’s source. Anyone want to ask him?

        David R. Roell

      • I’d ask if I could, but I’m not in touch with him. Someone from England wrote and said Kate’s that Marc’s source was on a forum there but needed checking. Donna

  6. cool links!

  7. With Neptune (Scorpio, 3rd & conj. IC) getting upset because public and noisy spiritual warriors Mercury (Gemini/10th) sextile Mars (Aries/9th) insist on frolicking near the edge of his calm lake…I feel better knowing that the Royal Family is ur stress, too! Given your analysis Donna, if Prince William has kids, I can just see Prince William’s heart breaking because he must be away. Us Venus in Taurus folks love deeply….

    The long I live…the more readily Neppy can handle tension from his neighbors in the Yod.

  8. Thanks for the info on the Golden Yod, Donna. I’d never heard of it before. I’m surprised by its obscurity. A benefic pattern regarded as “an extremely creatively charged aspect good for artistic skill” sure sounds like something worth looking for.

  9. My youngest son has 3 Yods with their points from ascendant through the 12th house One is similar to the prince, where his Sun ascendant conjunction in Taurus quincunxes Neptune in the 8th and Pluto in the 6th and opposes/ contra parallels Uranus on the descendant. He balances a woman with Thyroid , bi polar , hepatitis C and 2 small and sweet daughters with his 3rd year of college and no money. ( he has 3 daughters) It is a momentous struggle but he is prevailing. he has a brilliant mind but seems destined to fall for for women mates with serious problems. His choice of women for ” just friends” has been much better and his daughters are anomalies. I am raising the first one and she is a great jewel.
    Just like the Prince my son had a great shock in youth and this experience has given him trouble and yet a greater depth of feeling for those less fortunate.

  10. That is a Royal Yod lot indeed! Another high profile british sporting a yod is Margaret Tatcher.
    The cancer connection with their luminaries just melted my heart…to the point that I’ll take it easy tomorrow morning to watch at least part of the ceremony. My libra moon thinks: ooooh they’re such a beautiful couple, and neptune sittin’ on my nat jupiter can’t stop sending blessings…

    • Ah, interesting about Thatcher. I’ll bet if we researched other prime ministers, they’d be a Yod lot too. Donna

  11. Hi Donna. This doesn’t have anything to do with yods or royal families. Okay, the Kennedys are as close to royalty as any European royal family, so perhaps okay to ask? I was watching The Kennedys – the new series with Greg Kinnear – and i’ts fascinating. And I looked at the charts of the different Kennedys. Do they have something like a Yod or any other kind of major aspect running in the family?

    • It’s been a long time since I looked at their charts, Natalie. I don’t recall Yods, but at that point I may not have been looking for them. What I do recall as standing out was angular Pluto or Neptune, like on the Midheaven or square it. All of their charts are in the AstroDataBank collection, which you can access through the “Useful Sites” link on the front page. Donna

  12. And just to add your British yod fest, here’s a thing. The United Kingdom chart itself sports two yods – one with the moon at its apex and one with Pluto. A complex national psychology indeed, a bit like the punk version of God Save the Queen.

    • LOL! I always know they were a quirky lot! Their humor gives them away. Thanks for that interesting input, Christina–the Oxford Astrologer. Donna

      PS. At the ripe old age of 68, I’ve discovered Dr. Who, and am watching the newer version on BBC on cable here.

      • oh don’t you love it!!

    • No wonder my younger son has so many yods…his Dad is from Northern England!

    • How strange, my name is Mary English…and I’m English… and I’ve got a Yod!!..
      …makes me feel less of an outcast knowing my country has the same configuration….mine links Saturn, Moon an Uranus!!

  13. incidentally, if you want to read a good book about Yod’s I highly recommend The Yod Book by Karen Hamaker-Zondag

  14. I’ve had trouble finding information on the yod. I read some by Joan Kellogg and others but even when I find something it’s hard to understand what its talking about and how I can incorporate all the parts to understand it better.

    Mine is with sag moon in 3rd sextile aqu saturn in 5th and both quincunx my cancer 9th house sun conjunct MC. All of those planets are pretty prominent too so I have no idea what it means…

    • The best book on the subject is the Yod book by Karen Hamacker-Zondag of Holland. She’s a superb educator and the author of many fine astrology books. Donna

      • I will gander a guess Md, That air /fire sextile tells me you have a past and background potpourri of ancestors and past life experiences that represents instincts at cross current with who you are NOW as an individual . Sun in Cancer and this WHO must shine in a public spotlight. The degree of your Sun would be interesting. Somehow you need to nurture the public and your background past will give you a great understanding of many types of people.

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