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Matrix Software > Learng Astrology > Astrology Article

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Astrology Articles
Article Title: Introduction to Declination
- by Kt  Boehrer
I began the study of astrology about age three and have never ceased the study of astrology for any attenuated period of time since then. Since I was born in 1923 you will quickly see that I have studied and worked with astrology for nearly 75 years - a fair lifetime.

Eventually I became dissatisfied with certain limitations and certain failures of astrology to measure up to the claims and expectations of astrologers. By this I mean to say that perfectly straightforward astrological events that should have manifested in a clearly discernible manner sometimes simply failed to do so. Lunations, eclipses and progressed or transiting aspects either simply didn't come off or occurred either too early or too late.

With a background in medical work I wanted certainty - exactitude. I could not tolerate anything less in my profession and, clearly, I should, in fact, I HAD to be able, for reasons of purely personal satisfaction, to find the same exactitude in astrology that I found in the medical lab. It was precisely this mind-set that led me to the questions and answers that I needed.

In working with astrology, we are working with a constantly fluid field of energy in which activity occurs in more than one dimension of space. That, of course, is the whole story. I realized that in working with longitude alone we were working on a one-dimensional level with multidimensional propensities. This is rather like saying that every person living in the penthouse of a building at 310 Featherstone Avenue, that has 36 stories with 10 apartments on each level, all have the same address: 310 Featherstone Ave. Technically this is true - all 360 apartments would share the street number and address, but in order to interact with each tenant we must have more specific identification of location: some modifying information of location. That is what declination is and what declination does for us.

So it is with declination. Every degree of the 360 degrees of longitude may (must) be associated with a degree of declination. Any degree of longitude will resonate through 90 degrees of declination (either North or South.) That is to say that O degrees of Aries may extend from 0 to 90 degrees of declination. And this is true with every other degree of longitude for every individual degree of longitude will extend through 0 to 90 degrees of declination. By identifying a planet's degree of declination we are able to establish the degree of longitude that that planet is most strongly influencing. The process may also be reversed so that identifying the degree of declination of the planet's degree of longitude will provide yet another specific longitude that is powerfully (and invisibly) being influenced.

This kind of comprehension opens up a myriad of possibilities: we are able to - no! we are required to identify those influences in both time and space that are being activated by declination as well as longitude. It is this concatenation of events that will tell us the specifics of astrological events - not only where but when and all the flexible combinations of those two factors. We can begin to understand why one event works most powerfully while a similar event hardly works at all, for the identification of the most powerful places AND times of aspects is done through the application of both longitude and declination: either one alone will not suffice, since it takes both to identify the strength and power of a lunation. A planet going retrograde in a longitudinal AND declinational degree will affect those people most strongly who have placements at that particular degree of both longitude and declination, whereas the individual whose planetary placement is not coordinated with the degree of declination may experience little or nothing of the action.

Longitude identifies placement in space in one dimension. Declination defines placement in space in a second dimension and where these two dimensions intersect they interact when activated. It is this combination of influences that establishes the power and exactitude of events in the chart and in the life. And these conditions define not only the power/impact but also the timing of events. The combination of longitude and declination provide us two very powerful tools for prognostication of events: their magnitude and extent and their timing.

It is important to understand and keep in mind at all times that there are 360 degrees of longitude and 360 degrees of declination and together they form a grid of longitude and declination that locates an object exactly in space in relation to the Sun and the planet Earth. The 360 degrees of longitude are measured from East to West around the belt of the Equator but each degree of longitude extends both above and below the Equator for 90 degrees.

There are also 360 degrees of declination (two 90 degree segments North of the Equator and two 90 degree segments south of the Equator) and the intersection of longitude and declination define exactly the space in which an object's influence will be felt most keenly for that point where a planet 's longitude and declination intersect will respond most reliably when aspected by another celestial body or event. It is extremely important to understand that each degree of longitude will run through each degree of declination (either North or South) so that you must keep in mind that an object at 0 Aries 00 might be in any degree from one to 90 of declination - when this is understood we then begin to understand just how vague longitudinal placement alone may be and how important declination really is.

Now realistically we know that the planets 'must' remain within certain limiting arcs of declination although some have more eccentric orbits than others - even so the degree of declination can make a tremendous difference in exactly where, when or whether a planet or event will activate a chart and how markedly and when the event will occur.

Let me suggest an exercise for you: check the lunations to see how powerful they are - do both Sun and Moon occupy the some degree of longitude and the same degree of declination at the same time? If so, that is a very powerful lunation. If the longitudinal aspect happens hours before/after the exact parallel it is not as powerful. In some cases the Moon never achieves the same degree of declination (or its opposite), sometimes missing by several degrees. When that happens it is not a very powerful lunation at all.
This same technique works with planets - a longitudinal aspect will often be exact although the planets are never within one degree of the same declination. In such a case, the aspect is not a very powerful event.

The more particular information we have about the mechanics of the phenomena of longitudinal/declination relationship the better able we are to apply our knowledge practically. In actual fact the area of declination that is most important lies between the Equator (0 declination) and about 7 degrees beyond the Sun's maximum declination which is (at the present time) generally reported as 23N/S28. This solar arc sets the all-important Ecliptic - the Royal Highway of the Sun - and it is along this route that life takes place. Most of the planets, most of the time, circulate within this orbit BUT there are times when some of the planets exceed the 23N/S28 maximum declination of the Sun and go Out-Of-Bounds - beyond the Ecliptic by declination. These planets are very important and have a considerable impact on the character and personality as well as the conditions of the person's life.

There are also times in the life of people born with no natal Out-Of-Bounds planets when planets go OOB either by progression or transit and create considerable activity in the life. This may be either negative or positive - each instance must be judged on its own conditions but it is guaranteed to have an impact on the life.

We also find that natal Out-Of-Bounds planets have a profound effect on psychological character. This subject is far too complex to discuss here but the mention is sufficient to alert the serious astrologer to examine those charts with OOB natal planets very carefully for indications of psychological attitudes that are not in step with the average psychology.

We also find OOB planets very active in accidents, serious illnesses, hair-raising adventures, etc. In fact, introducing declination into your calculations adds so much greater depth to your comprehension of the chart that you will be amazed. Even when NOT OOB, the planet's declination may reveal matters of great importance. For example, those periods when transiting Mars rides the Ecliptic (sits right on the ecliptic by declination) of a specific chart (your own, perhaps) are often a warning of accidents, surgery or infection with fever.

But this is enough for the beginning. In the future we will look more closely at declination and the Out-Of-Bounds planets.

KtB, the Declination Lady



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.



Other articles by Kt Boehrer:

Delving into Declination   3/1/2001
Delving into Declinations #3   4/1/2001

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