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Astrology Articles
Article Title: The Significance of Heliocentric Positions of Planets in Astrology and Science
Date Published:
- by Siegfried  Schiemenz
The significance of this is, in today’s astrology, not only neglected, but often even denied. Since I established the heliocentric approach to astrology in talks given in 1952 and 53 in Aalen and Munich(Germany) and in a paper in the Astrologische Monatshefte, 1954, nothing very much has happened in this field in Europe. The Heliocentric Ephemeris, edited by R. Ebertin, the organizer of the conferences in Aalen (a town in South Germany) in the fifties had to be dropped after a few years because of a lack of demand.

The heliocentric data used to be given only in astronomical almanacs. Today these data can be produced by some computer programs for astrologers; A program which does not do this should not be accepted anymore. (Editor’s note: Win*Star and Kaleidoscope from Matrix Software include helio positions.) Since 1982 there has been The American Heliocentric Ephemeris 1901-2000, because several American astrologers turned towards the heliocentric method which, as far as I know, must have jumped over the ocean previous to that.

In the following I will call a heliocentric chart a Cosmogram, a geocentric chart a Horoscope. In a Cosmogram the earth appears instead of the Sun, of course in opposition to the Sun of the Horoscope. The changes of the positions of the planets which occur when we transfer our standpoint from the earth to the Sun become, clear if you look at the Cosmogram of Holderlin in the center you can see the Sun, surrounded by the orbit of Mercury and showing its actual position. A beam from the Sun over Mercury projects it onto 28.5°Scorpio. A straight line from the Earth over this Mercury projects it to about 3° Pisces where it is marked.

Generally the changes are greater with planets near to the Sun. Mercury and Venus, geocentrically bound to the Sun, move heliocentrically around the entire Zodiac independent from one another and can even come in opposition to their geocentric position. There is no retrograde. Compared with the geocentric position Mars can shift by up to 45°, Jupiter only 12°, Saturn by up to 6.5° Uranus 3° but Neptune and Pluto only 2°. That shows us the easiest and most certain way to see if there is something in the heliocentric approach: the new positions of the planets, especially those near to the Sun, have to make sense in astrology.

At first we can look at Goethe’s Cosmogram. What we see is amazing: Mercury comes into a conjunction with Neptune (imagination), both receive a trine from Jupiter and Saturn and a square from Venus. Since also JU and SA form a mutual trine a complete Grand Trine comes about. That occurs not so often with only nine factors, because Moon, AC and MC are missing in a Cosmogram. All aspects are quite exact. In Cosmograms I give an orb of 6° to conjunction and opposition and 5° to trine, square and sextile. If there is a complete configuration of three or more planets, one aspect may have an orb of one degree more.

I do not intend to go into the interpretation of this, I did that in 1954, in the paper mentioned above. (At that time I published under the pen-name A. Schutz because I wanted to do a PhD in science with Astronomy as a secondary subject and publication in Astrology would have caused a lot of difficulties.) Although the heliocentric positions of the planets are quite impressive it is no proof yet. Perhaps I picked out the chart which worked best.

In Germany the next great poet after Goethe is Schiller. A naive person with only a little experience in astrology would expect a similar constellation to Goethe’s. An educated astrologer, disappointed by many cheerless experiences, would put a damper on these expectations and explain: "Astrology is not that easy".

But look at Schiller again. Mercury comes at the corner of a Grand Trine with Mars trine Uranus (storm and stress) and also in a stress-aspect to Venus, this time an opposition. So a configuration results, which resembles a kite (in German "Drache" which means "dragon"). By an opposition Mars to Jupiter (opposition to authority) an impressive harmonious configuration with a course of sextiles over five planets appears. Please note here, like in other Cosmograms, the masses of existing mid-points. Certainly it is unlikely that such a harmonious picture would occur by chance just with two outstanding poets but of course it would be possible. In German literature Holderlin could be nominated to third position.

Here in Holderlin's chart we meet one of the most unlikely harmonious constellations which can be formed with only 9 factors: two independent Grand Trines. One of them, Mercury trine Venus trine Saturn, is extended by an opposition of Venus to Earth to a kite shape. The other trine with Mercury conjunction Pluto at one corner forms a triangle with trine Uranus trine Neptune. Both triangles form the mutual aspect of 45° (octile or semi-square).

In each of the 3 Cosmograms Mercury came to a corner of a Grand Trine and in a quite exact aspect to Venus, aspects which are very characteristic, but impossible in geocentric horoscopes.

Because I am German you will understand that I started my investigation with prominent German poets but then I passed on to world literature which I have always been very interested in. There I have found a lot more appropriate charts. To give examples of English speaking poets and writers I can refer to William Wordworth, Lawrence Sterne, E.A. Poe, and Rudyard Kipling. The greatest English poet, W. Shakespeare has a quadriga, 4 planets linked by conjunctions. This configuration is much stronger and occurs significantly less frequently than the Grand Trine. More details about that later below. Anette v, Droste-Hushoff, born 27 years after Holderlin (portrayed on the German 20 DM note), F.v. Bodelschwing born 1831 (portrayed on a German stamp of 1996) and A. Tschechov born 1860, all have Grand Trines like Holderlin’s.

The probability of a particular Grand Trine, i.e. formed by 3 predetermined planets, is 1 in 650. Only in a group of more than 2000 people should we find the same constellation 4 times. Now the other Cosmograms I am showing should not need any more explanations. Of course a Grand Trine is not the only configuration which is helpful for above average success in life. Here I have given special emphasis to it since it can show best the effectiveness of heliocentric constellations. Concerning Mercury, Venus and Earth, the triangles display best fitting constellations which cannot occur in a geocentric Horoscopes.

The other configurations which I investigated more closely are those formed by conjunctions. I consider a certain constellation of planets as a configuration only if at least 3 planets are involved, like in music where at least 3 tones are needed to form an chord. With this in mind any 3 planets linked by conjunctions form also a configuration, which we call a "troika," four planets linked by conjunctions-we call a quadriga. These terms also say a lot about how they are effective. With a quadriga someone can rush to their goal in life, as if drawn by 4 horses. (Editor’s note: a quadriga is a chariot drawn by four horses.) Although this could only be attained by a firm and mature personality. Otherwise the person suffers the fate of Phaeton who drove the quadriga of his father, the Sun-god Helios. At the zenith of the path he lost control of the horses and crashed.

In my statistical investigations I use an orb of 6° for conjunctions, if a troika is formed for the third and every further planet an orb of 7° is valid, so that the two planets on the outside can be separated by up to 13°, in a quadriga up to 20°.

These kinds of configurations occur more rarely in Cosmograms than in Horoscopes. In Horoscopes there is also the Moon as a 10th "planet" and even ASC and MC and the Moon’s node are often employed in conjunctions. Besides that a conjunction Mercury/Earth is only 1/10 as frequent as the conjunction Mercury/Sun, provided the same orb is taken as a basis. An increase of the number of factors by one (for example from 9 to 10 = 11%) doesn’t lead to a linear increase in the probability of configurations by only 11% but to an increase of 43% (!), since 9 planets combined in groups of 3 can form 84 possible combinations; 10 planets combined in groups of 3 can form 120 combinations.

Following the classical theory of astrology conjunctions should give much power of assertion to its "owner." That is confirmed by picking out of the number of famous people only those whose configurations have not only two or three but four or more planets in conjunction. Of course a quadriga turns up much more rarely than a troika. (In one chart with 9 planets two troikas turn up even more rarely, occurring for example in Hitler’s chart.) The list starts with J. Caesar (see pict. 6); after Trajan (another Caesar) and some popes we come to M. Luther, Shakespeare, Wallenstein, Salazar, Franco, Mao Tse Tung, Gaulle, ...! Now we can try to prove statistically a connection between constellations of the planets on the day of birth of a person and their achievements.

I made my first attempt at that during my student days in Halle (on Saale), 1946-50. I went on the assumption that a group of people with a very special profession would have to show special constellations if there were a connection. This profession should fulfill conditions as follows: very special, not widespread, freely chosen (not hereditary).

For example it should not be a soldier, doctor or farmer. If a doctor than it should be more precise, for example a specialist like gynecologist or a surgeon. I had just changed my subject from chemistry to geology and the occupation of a geologist seemed to be very suitable for testing claims of astrology. To be interested in fossils, quarries, pits and mines was not very usual, almost lying a little bit outside the social norm. Since geology was not a subject at school there could not be much influence from outside, for example by a teacher. Moreover there was a quite clear statement in astrology for this particular interest: a strong position of Saturn all above near MC or ASC.

Risking my reputation as a scientist-to-be, I got about 25 data from fellow students. The result was quite positive as defined by astrology. However, it proved impossible to impress these results on skeptical scientists. Whereas they immediately accepted statistics in geology as correctly produced and analyzed, since the results were "rational," they doubted everything in astrology. They doubted the precision of the calculation; I was suspected of manipulating the times of birth (mostly indicated to me orally) or even ignoring horoscopes which did not fit.

So I was forced to choose a group of people as a basis for statistics which were not compiled by me and whose data were available to the public. I used a big German encyclopedia which had just been published. I picked out of the Brockhaus - Lexikon in 14 volumes (1952 - 57) every individual about whom 25 cm or more were reported.

These personalities achieved - without any doubt - something above average, even if the achievements were not always positive ones. With them more helpful constellations should occur than in a group of average people, if there were a connection between human achievements and the constellation of planets. For some thousand years, astrology has held the theory that the helpful constellations are conjunctions, trines and sextiles. The result with this group of geniuses (which is what I will call them for short, while aware of the problems in this expression) was clearly in the sense of astrology!

All constellations had been, however, calculated from the heliocentric standpoint. So I could use with sufficient precision for statistical purposes the positions at noon at the day of birth, since the quickly running Moon, ASC and MC do not come into consideration. Of course, encyclopedias give only the day of birth and only exceptionally is the time known. To assess such statistics the probabilities or rather the frequencies which are to be expected have to be known. These are given in the table below:

Orb (in degrees)


Grand Trine

These values, calculated by an expert in mathematics and by myself, were confirmed by 200,000 computer simulations of planets’ positions. Besides that I have calculated 2000 actual cosmograms of random data between the year 1500 and 1920, that is the period of time to which most of the geniuses belong, and this gave the same result.

The encyclopedia I used, provided just 100 geniuses with entries of 25 cm or more. These 100 cosmograms contain 43% of the helpful configurations I mentioned, instead of 24% which would be expected. That is a clear proof of a connection, since such a deviation should occur only once in more than 1 million samples.

After that I calculated the cosmograms of all individuals given by the Lexikon which had entries of more than 10 cm (apart from hereditary kings or emperors). So I got 604 additional cosmograms. Also in this group the configurations I considered were significantly more frequent than was to be expected. According to all rules of statistics it is almost impossible that this deviation can be caused by chance.

I had already worked out these results in the sixties. It took me several holidays because the calculations had to be carried out by hand and head. There were no ephemerides for the time before 1800 and as well of course at that time there were no PCs or even any astronomical programs.

A cosmogram took about 1 to 2 hours for calculating, drawing and analyzing. With the help of a computer this can be done in one minute. So last year I was able to check in one week the calculations of years. But certainly you explore the material deeper when you calculate and draw it yourself.

So there is now a statistical investigation with 704 individuals, who where not chosen by me, and with given and easy to check data of birth. The strong deviation of the frequency of helpful aspects, corresponding with old rules of astrology, can be checked by every skeptic who is interested in science. This particular lexikon is still available in almost all German libraries (and in many houses). It was the first big lexikon published in Germany after the war. The heliocentric positions of planets can be calculated with the help of the tables of NEUGEBAUER or AHNERT or after 1798 taken from the Astronomical Almanach or Berliner Astronomisches Jahrbuch. The easiest way of course is now the calculation with the PC. There are several programs today which give the heliocentric positions too.

Incidentally, there are additional methods in statistics for considering as proven strong deviations from an expected average, to order the masses of data after criteria which make either sense or not and observe the result.

A reasonable point of view is the length of the articles in the lexikon. This has been fixed by the editorial staff of the lexikon proportionally to the meaning they attributed to the person concerned and their achievements. Articles about Goethe, Shakespeare or Luther are, of course, significantly longer than those about e.g. Bert Brecht, Bemh. Shaw or the priest Kneipp. The data ordered in groups corresponding to the length of the articles provide an amazingly good correlation which is difficult to explain as a result of chance (pict. 9).

Another sensible structuring of the data is one according to the years of birth. Also here we get a picture (nr. 10) we might expect: a steady high level through the centuries, decreasing in the 19th century, which is easy to explain. A Konversation-Lexikon, as it is really called in German, tries to be relevant to recent or even present situations. So of the last and the current century individuals are mentioned who will disappear in the next century, while the memories of people of earlier centuries is only maintained for really great achievements. Think only of the numerous actors, pop singers and secretaries in politics who are mentioned in the current lexikon, but not any more in the next one.

The steadiness of the distribution of the helpful configurations also demonstrates the strong deviation in our statistics, can not be caused by some constellations which last for a longer time.

Now we can compare these examples with a data put in order of a point of view which certainly can not stand in a relevant connection with the distribution of constellations. We order the individuals alphabetically, split up in groups, and get now a picture (nr. 11) without any correlation. The abscissa goes from A to Z and of course the values of the groups are scattered irregularly which would also have been the case in the other two pictures, if there had not been a connection with the positions of planets.

This significant connection between spiritual achievements and heliocentric position of planets is really of great theoretical meaning and perhaps some day of a practical one. It shows that our spirit works in a field of an, as yet unknown, nature which is formed or at least modified by the position of the planets. It can not only be a radiation of the planets as assumed by many astrologers. The experience of astrology over thousands of years was gained only with geocentric horoscopes, which in my opinion (based on many observations) are only correct with still native living people, who react immediately to each stimulus and mood coming from outside.

With personalities who take daily life composedly, watching it from a calm center and, by this means, come to a more objective view of things and life and thus to achievements which outlive their originators, the heliocentric constellations are more decisive. In 1954 I described the geocentric horoscope as a horoscope of the heart, the heliocentric one (Cosmogram) as a horoscope of the spirit. The Cosmogram becomes more effective with growing experience and growing maturity.

Thus there appears a relationship between the structure of our mind and the structure of our Solar system. Actually this is not surprising. Live, and surely the spirit too (at least the brain) has developed in the last 3 billion years slowly under the steady influence of the Sun and the revolving planets.(Imaging really the number of three billion years, 3 thousand times 1 million years, each million consisting again of 1000 times 1000 years.)

Now physicists should think about the nature of the force-field which links the structure of the Solar system with the structure of the human mind. The effect seems to depend mainly on direction and angles. The masses and distances of the planets are of no or of secondary meaning.

What is new in science in general and for physicists in particular is now that the only "instrument" for measuring the quality of the effective forces we have, is the quality of the achievement of a person. Quality means here not only the level but also the type and manner of achievement. We can judge achievements only by actually realized creative feats in arts, science or politics. In this matter now have to cooperate arts and science certainly to their mutual profits.


AHNERTS: Kalender fur Sternfreunde
Leipzig, Berlin, Heidelberg: J. Ambrosius Barth-Verl., (1995 im 47. Jahrgg.)

AHNERT, P.: Astronomisch-Chronologische Tafein fur Sonne, Mond und Planeten
Leipzig: 1961, 2. Aufl.

KOLLER, S.: Graphische Tafeln zur Beurteilung statistischer Zahlen
Darmstadt: 1953, 3.Auflage

MICHELSEN, Neil F.: The American Heliocentric Ephemeris 1901-2000
San Diego: 1982

NEUGEBAUER, P.V.: Tafeln zur astronomischen Chronologie
Leipzig: 1914, Vol. 2

RETTIG, R.: HORCOM, Astrologie-Programm (mit heliozentrischen Planetenstellungen) fur ATARI - ST- Computer

SCHIEMENZ, S.: "Die psychologische Bedeutung der Gestirne4"
in: Kosmobiologie, May 1953

SCHUTZ, A. (S.Schiemenz): "Das heliozentrische Horoskop"
in: Astroiogische Monatshefte 7/8, Hamburg 1954

(Editor’s Note: The Sun is Shining by Michael Erlewine is a heliocentric ephemeris with introductory material on heliocentric astrology, Matrix Software.)

Copyright: Siegfried Schiemenz

Other articles by Siegfried Schiemenz:

Truth of Heliocentric Astrology   

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