Ptolemaic aspects vs declinations

neptune910

Well-known member
I noticed that often in natal charts there will be a parallel between signs that normally square or oppose eachother, since the parallel is supposed to work as a conjunction, how will the aspect work?
Im gonna use an aspect from my natal chart but just as an example. For example my sun should be square my ascendant, by sign only though since the orb is wide. Which would mean there is a conflict between ego/identity/presentation/personality im assuming. But at the same time, sun is parallel ascendant and the orb is exact. So using the definition from astro-seek for this aspect it says:

“This aspect indicates a relationship between behaviour and the true nature: these people "are who they really are".”

While the ptolemaic aspect (a wide square) denotes the exact opposite of that definition. So which one is the truth or more accurate from your experience? And will a parallel between two incompatible signs work the same as a conjunction in the same sign? I guess this is sort of a planets vs signs thing here. Thank you guys in advance
 

FraterAC

Well-known member
If I were reading a chart, I would definitely give more weight to a parallel of declination that was close compared to any aspect by sign (which I do not use) or with a very wide orb. In this example I'd say Sun/Ascendant would be good for the vitality and sense of self-possession (among other things).
Parallels and contraparallels can be used both in judging nativities and forecasting.
Speaking of Ptolemaic aspects, years ago I learned the semisquare, sesquiquadrate, semisextile and inconjunct (aka quincunx) are all valid aspects, although I reduce the orb somewhat when looking at nativities. In looking at forecasting techniques I use orbs of one degree or less for everything.
 

neptune910

Well-known member
If I were reading a chart, I would definitely give more weight to a parallel of declination that was close compared to any aspect by sign (which I do not use) or with a very wide orb. In this example I'd say Sun/Ascendant would be good for the vitality and sense of self-possession (among other things).
Parallels and contraparallels can be used both in judging nativities and forecasting.
Speaking of Ptolemaic aspects, years ago I learned the semisquare, sesquiquadrate, semisextile and inconjunct (aka quincunx) are all valid aspects, although I reduce the orb somewhat when looking at nativities. In looking at forecasting techniques I use orbs of one degree or less for everything.
Thank you Frater! Your explanation resonated with me a lot, i think that might be why i never felt the conflicting energies between the identity of my asc/sun, was the opposite actually, while for example my moon is square my ascendant and contraparallel it as well and there i can feel lots of tension. I havent gotten to using parallels in forecasting yet as im only a beginner so thats what im gonna check out next, and thank you for mentioning the minor aspects as well, i only recently found out about those and started looking for them in some natal charts. What orb do you use for those in natal charts, and do you also use aspects like the quintile? And one last question, do you believe that minor aspects and parallels/contraparallels hold the same weight as major aspects, when the orbs are tight, eg a conjunction being the same as a parallel? Thank you!!
 

DavidMcCann

Active member
Parallels were invented in the 17th century by Placidus. He looked at the antiscion, where the mid-point of two planets falls on a solstice point. I don't know whether he considered the objection that we don't use aspects to solstice points, but it did occur to him that points in antiscion had the same declination. So which was actually significant? Placidus decided that it was the parallel of declination, as a lot of events corresponded to directing a significator to a parallel, hardly any to directing to an antiscion. The trouble was that he didn't realise that directions to parallels, with the orb he used, were so common that they didn't prove anything. Parallels were introduced into English astrology by Partridge. But a survey of French-language books in the last century showed that most either didn't mention them or dismissed them. I looked at parallels in a large number of natal charts and I couldn't find any evidence that they worked.

Minor aspects were introduced by Kepler, early in his career when he was trying to explain everything with geometry and numerology. He had to abandon that approach in astronomy, but he never ditched its result in astrology — the minor aspects. A correspondent once asked him for some evidence and all he could give was a weather-forecasting chart where he explained heavy rain by a quintile to the significator from Mars! If we look at his proposals, he divided the circle for new aspects by 5, 8, 10, and 12. Today, hardly anyone uses the quintiles and deciles. German astrologers tend to accept division by 8 but not by 12; Americans tend to do the opposite! Kepler thought division by 12 was good, those who use it today often think the opposite. None of this inspires confidence.

The studies of unaspected planets carried out in the last century showed that neither parallels nor minor aspects prevented a planet manifesting as unaspected. I think that puts the last nail in their coffin. Forget them!
 

FraterAC

Well-known member
The use of antiscia and parallels are not the same thing. For one thing, antiscia are calculated in longtitude. I use antiscia in all my forecasting and they are almost as significant as the natal positions themselves in receiving aspects. Use of the Antiscia goes back to Ptolemy. I won't offer a theoretical basis for them, but it's unnecessary, because the evidence is there. Check out any of my analyses here on this site for that.
The Hamburg/Uranian and Cosmobiology schools do use the solstice/cardinal points. Witte used them in his planetary pictures (a development of Lots/Parts).
The minor aspects I listed above have all proven significant in my analyses. On average in nativities I use about 8 degrees for major aspects and about 4 for minors. For parallels and contraparallels, 1 or less. All of them work in forecasting (60' or less).
I don't use the quintile, septile, novile or their multiples, although those astrologers in the Harmonic or Vibrational schools do in their harmonic calculations. Refer to David Cochrane and others for that.
As to parallels and contraparallels of declination, anyone interested can refer to K T Boehrer's definitive book Declination: The Other Dimension. She was referred to in astrological circles as the declination lady.
In the beginning of one's astrological studies, especially at this point in our development, it's best to follow the KISS concept to keep from being bewildered by the many different opinions, schools, precepts and techniques currently available (and promulgated on sites like this). Get solidly grounded in one set of concepts before branching out. Otherwise one gets too scattered and goes nowhere. Like a nautilus, occupy your space completely before moving to a larger one.
Some approaches are better than others, all are NOT created equal!, but if someone has something that works for them, more power to them.

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Humanitarian

Well-known member
If I were reading a chart, I would definitely give more weight to a parallel of declination that was close compared to any aspect by sign (which I do not use) or with a very wide orb. In this example I'd say Sun/Ascendant would be good for the vitality and sense of self-possession (among other things).
Parallels and contraparallels can be used both in judging nativities and forecasting.
Speaking of Ptolemaic aspects, years ago I learned the semisquare, sesquiquadrate, semisextile and inconjunct (aka quincunx) are all valid aspects, although I reduce the orb somewhat when looking at nativities. In looking at forecasting techniques I use orbs of one degree or less for everything.
Example: I have a Mars sesquisquare Pluto aspect Ptolemaically, and a Mars contraparallel Pluto declinationally, and so my contraparallel is way more strong compared to my sesquisquare, which explains why I'm such a Plutonian person in my temper...
 

Humanitarian

Well-known member
Parallels were invented in the 17th century by Placidus. He looked at the antiscion, where the mid-point of two planets falls on a solstice point. I don't know whether he considered the objection that we don't use aspects to solstice points, but it did occur to him that points in antiscion had the same declination. So which was actually significant? Placidus decided that it was the parallel of declination, as a lot of events corresponded to directing a significator to a parallel, hardly any to directing to an antiscion. The trouble was that he didn't realise that directions to parallels, with the orb he used, were so common that they didn't prove anything. Parallels were introduced into English astrology by Partridge. But a survey of French-language books in the last century showed that most either didn't mention them or dismissed them. I looked at parallels in a large number of natal charts and I couldn't find any evidence that they worked.

Minor aspects were introduced by Kepler, early in his career when he was trying to explain everything with geometry and numerology. He had to abandon that approach in astronomy, but he never ditched its result in astrology — the minor aspects. A correspondent once asked him for some evidence and all he could give was a weather-forecasting chart where he explained heavy rain by a quintile to the significator from Mars! If we look at his proposals, he divided the circle for new aspects by 5, 8, 10, and 12. Today, hardly anyone uses the quintiles and deciles. German astrologers tend to accept division by 8 but not by 12; Americans tend to do the opposite! Kepler thought division by 12 was good, those who use it today often think the opposite. None of this inspires confidence.

The studies of unaspected planets carried out in the last century showed that neither parallels nor minor aspects prevented a planet manifesting as unaspected. I think that puts the last nail in their coffin. Forget them!
Quintiles are more commonly used than deciles, and sometimes I'm wondering if deciles don't exist, will my chart be much less special or not? (I have a lot of deciles in my chart, and it even made a major configuration in my chart, too, with Lilith, Ceres, Pluto, IC, MC, Moon, Eris, Admetos, and even asteroid Ate, and if I have another point to complete the decagon, it'd be the asteroid Hopi/Felicia midpoint, which is very very rarely used!).
 
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