It is really necessary to address certain aspects and conditions relating to declination, its understanding, use and application. There are several areas that we need to discuss because in some ways we are still working with declination in a makeshift fashion. The methods and means that were the epitome of accuracy and the most modern systems available in 1975 are no longer good enough today, although we are forced to continue to rely on less than the most up-to-date computer programs. Our technical computer geniuses have (and have had since the mid ‘70s) the ability to facilitate the calculation and location of declination but only one has been willing to address the subject and provide a needed program.|
What I am going to suggest to you will, at first, appear very radical. For this reason I ask you to pause here and remember that before our traditional round chart there was the traditional square chart. Charts can come in many shapes. Certainly as we look back at the square chart I am sure that every one of us is grateful to the inventor of the round chart. I am also sure that it took a while for astrologers to adjust to such a revolutionary new chart form. And now, here I am, asking you to do the very same. Believe me, if astrologers several hundred years ago could make a logical and helpful change - so can you! It is a fact - the circular chart is not a reality. The elliptical chart is the way it really is.
Remember that our ‘traditional’ round chart actually ‘represents’ the ecliptic which is actually an oval - not a circle. Still and all it was a vast improvement over the ‘square’ charts. Now what I am going to propose is an elliptical chart - a true representation of that all-important Ecliptic where all the action is. In such a chart each planet would be
shown by both longitude and declination in one position. This is a feat that, for the first time in the history of the world, is easily possible in the world of the computer. But let me begin at the beginning.
John Halloran, in 1994, almost 20 years after I introduced declination to contemporary astrology, designed a computer program that would translate declination into longitude and longitude into declination and allow us to view these placements in a traditional round chart.* His program is enormously helpful to the astrologer who understands the use of declination. I am very grateful to John for his foresight and willingness to take a chance on an unknown facet of astrology. I say ‘unknown’ advisedly because prior to the publication of my work with declination in 1975 through 1994 no one knew, recognized or even questioned the declination of planets and this was particularly true in reference to those planets that had achieved a declination greater than the maximum declination of the Ecliptic.
In the beginning (in the ‘50s and ‘60s) I sought information from various experts of the astrological world, in regard to the influence of and how to handle planets whose declination was greater than 23N/S28 declination. I was uniformly told to forget about it - it could have no influence or importance of any kind. As a result, prior to the publication of my work with Out Of Bounds (OOB) planets this important aspect of planetary motion and influence was completely ignored.
Fortunately I then turned to the astronomers who, when I described my quandary to them, immediately produced answers to my questions - even to the point of informing me that celestial bodies that achieved a declination greater than the maximum declination of the Ecliptic, formed aspects that astronomers called ‘anomalous aspects’ because they were beyond the Ecliptic limits therefore were making aspects to the Ecliptic of a different type or an unusual nature. This information made it possible for me to solve the problem of calculating the angle at which an Out Of Bounds planet would aspect the Ecliptic and/or any planet in that degree of longitude and/or declination. I look back now with laughter at the rudeness and total derision that some of the experts in both the astrological world and the computer world exhibited toward this work with declination as recently as 1994. I look back with gratitude that astronomers treated my research with respect in 1974!
I recount this petite histoire because I now have something to say that relates to the attitudes of the past and to our place in space in relation to declination at the present time. Since 1994 when my little book was published the use of declination has proliferated enormously. People all over the world are using declination now but we are still working with inferior tools and inadequate computer programs. At this point in time Solar Fire has added a program that allows the construction of a linear graph for declination of all planets and I understand that it is accurate even to the extent that it recognizes those periods when a planet goes beyond the maximum declination of the Ecliptic.** [Matrix’ Win*Star programs have tools for calculating and displaying planets in their declination with graphic ephemerides. No doubt others do also, or soon will.] I am very pleased to hear about this - it will certainly be very helpful. So now, we have John Halloran’s AstrolDeluxe which gives the declination/longitude equivalents and produces a traditional round chart with these equivalent placements and we have a linear graph to show when the planets cross the ecliptic and intersect other planets orbits.. Believe me, these are wonderful computer aids and I am delighted to see their development.
However, both of these tools, helpful as they are, and they are very helpful, fall short of producing the chart and/or the information that we truly need and that a good computer program could put at every astrologer’s fingertips.
All of this brings me back to the round declination chart. This is a helpful chart but it is not the ultimate declination chart. It is, in fact, a pretty poor substitute for the correct declination chart that I designed, copyrighted, published and produced in tablet form in 1975. That chart combines both the planet’s longitude and declination in a chart that allows the astrologer to see, with vivid clarity, the relationships that exist among planets by both longitude and declination in a chart that immediately identifies the planets that have gone beyond the ecliptic and/or the planets that are situated exactly on the ecliptic at a very critical moment.
The real declination chart brings the critical information to the astrologer’s immediate attention. Unfortunately, producing this chart is a tedious process because the planets must be inserted in their correct longitude and declination position manually - we have no computer program that will produce this marvelous chart and only a very few astrologers who are willing to do the manual work, no matter how valuable and helpful it is! It only takes one such chart with planets in exact parallel to the ecliptic and clearly in their specific degrees of longitude, to focus the attention wonderfully on the important matters and make the point clear to the astrologer for the combination of both longitude and declination provides a most powerfully impressive chart - much more informative and much more accurate than the round declination chart that is our only option at this point in time.
I continue to hope that some computer programmer will see and understand the value of this chart and produce the program we need so seriously. The round chart does not, cannot, present a realistic chart of the declination relationships. Much is lost in the translation, so to speak. The correct chart presents the planets in their correct declination and longitude so that relations (aspects) are vivid and quickly identified with a much more complete comprehension of the dynamics of the action and interaction. It does provide a view with another dimension!
I feel that I must say a few words about the actual calculation of declination prior to 1994 (with the sole exception of my own published work.) Before that time, the astrologers who were working with declination were quite accurate until they encountered planets that were Out Of Bounds (OOB) - my own terminology to describe those planets which have exceeded the maximum Ecliptic declination and are orbiting outside the Ecliptic.
Prior to my work this condition was simply not recognized. We were informed that some planets did occasionally have extreme orbits but no further attention was paid to this phenomenon and, indeed, such orbits were ignored - treated as if they never happened and had no import. As a result, astrological calculations of planetary movement never included these extreme orbits and never attempted to account for them, creating some serious mathematical errors as well as serious errors in the calculation of movement and position as well as delineation and timing of events as a result. That is to say that the same criteria were used to calculate planetary movement and influence regardless of whether the planet was in a speeded up, extreme orbit and OOB or whether it was still moving at normal speed in a normal orbit within the Ecliptic limits - all calculations were done for the norm. As a result some serious errors in calculation were made. Any work that did not and does not correctly address the planetary movement beyond the maximum ecliptic declination is faulty and cannot be relied upon.
There is another matter that is not well understood at all. Planets may be parallel or contraparallel from virtually any/all aspect positions. Ancient astrologers recognized only two aspects in respect to the parallel/contraparallel; the conjunction and the opposition, and as a result many astrologers still consider that the parallel must be either a longitudinal conjunction or opposition. We now know, because we are much more capable astronomically, that planets may be parallel and trine or sextile or square, etc., ad infinitum. This being true the first thing to remember about delineation of parallels (and that is the most important facet of the aspect) is that it intensifies the effect of the aspect – the more exact the parallel is the more powerful is its influence. Thus, if planets are parallel conjunct, expect affairs to concentrate wonderfully, to coalesce, in fact, to come together most emphatically. If planets are parallel opposition expect confrontation, opposition and separation. However, if planets are sextile parallel North or sextile parallel South they should function together to provide the very best opportunity BUT if sextile parallel North to South or South to North the opportunity will be accompanied by difficulties that must be overcome, the various components may not be able to function without friction or difficulties of some kind.
Have you ever wondered why a lovely trine didn’t work? In all likelihood the cause may be found in one of two conditions: IF the trine involved planets that never made a parallel at all it is quite likely that nothing would come of the aspect (remember that it is declination that ties the event to the ecliptic, where the action is) or if there was a contraparallel that may well have made it impossible for the aspect to manifest in a normal fashion. Planets in trine and parallel North or South should perform with ease and acuity. and, in fact, in those conditions where the parallel is never perfected it is quite likely that nothing at all will take place.
And so every parallel may be, must be, judged on more than one level: exactitude by declination as well a exactitude by longitude and the timing of events because, if the planets are not within minutes of exactitude by declination (I allow a maximum of one degree 30 minutes orb of aspect but really prefer a maximum 1 degree orb) their longitudinal position will be of little value - in short - longitude may disappoint. Declination rarely disappoints even when the declination aspect is exact at a different time than the exactitude of the longitudinal aspect.
There is a reason for this; we are told repeatedly that the action is on the ecliptic which is energized by the Sun as it moves through space OR, if you prefer and more accurately, on the Ecliptic which is energized by the planet we live on, the Earth, as it moves through space around the Sun, thus, with declination we have more than a chance aspect in space between two or more planets. We have a specific aspect to a sensitized degree of space through which we (on our planet Earth) orbit and this will precipitate the activity indicated by two or more planets and the Ecliptic, that highly energized area where all the action is. That is to say that the longitudinal aspect may take place at some remote place in space from which remote place it may not have any influence on planet Earth at all but because the aspects by declination will inevitably take place on the ecliptic it is much more likely that a declination event alone will make itself felt on planet Earth than that a longitudinal event without a strong declination tie will ever manage to achieve.
*[Editor’s note: readers who are concerned that Halloran programs are incompatible with Win*Star should be informed that this is no longer the case.]
**[Editor’s note: Win*Star Plus 2.0’s Graphical Ephemeris and TimeTables features permit one to make the same calculations, and the Data View feature gives precise declination information for individual charts.]
Copyright: Kt Boehrer
Bio: Kt Boehrer
Kt Boehrer had her first lesson in astrology at the age of five and hasn't finished the course yet.
In the interim she qualified as a medical technologist, specializing in hematology, blood chemistry, serology and x-ray-all the while studying astrology. She attended the University of Virginia, the Sorbonne and the Alliance Française, taking selected courses and studying astrology. She says that she thinks she must be a slow learner because she hasn't finished the course yet.
Her hobbies are music, painting, miniatures (as in complete houses of many rooms built and completely furnished on the scale of one inch equals one foot), travel and history. Bowling is her sport (because it is conducted in air conditioned buildings and doesn't mess hair and makeup like some sports).
Born in central Texas, Kt has lived in California, Indiana, Wisconsin,
Virginia and the D.C. Metropolitan Complex, and Europe where her husband was attached to the State Department and the United States Embassy in Paris for several years.
Formerly an editor, researcher and writer for the "Stellium Quarterly, An Astrological Journal," and a practicing astrologer who devoted 18 hours a day to her astrology practice for 25 years, that practice was abruptly terminated while she took a couple of years off to kill a few cancers. Happily, she is now back in business again.
Her book, DECLINATION: THE OTHER DIMENSION, was published in 1994 and was the best selling new book at the AFA 1994 Convention. It continues to be one of their best sellers. In April, 1995, the NCGR approved the establishment of a Declination Special Interest Group and the first issue of their newsletter, 'THE OTHER DIMENSION' was published. This SIG was the largest special interest group in the NCGR family of SIGs and remains one of the largest even into the millennium. In fact, with the introduction of the internet and astrology lists, astrologers all over the world are eager to learn all about declination and discovering greater precision and exactitude in their work as well as causative activity that can never be revealed by longitude alone.