written and posted in 1996, but significant revision and expansion
of content March 11, 2009)
you're hungry for a little info regarding the ever illusive astrological
Vertex and its interpretation? Well... you've come to (or rather stumbled
into) the right place! It would seem there's not much good, solid
info that's ever been written about the Vertex...
you found this popular Vertex article via Google - and it's your first
experience traveling with me - then I'll warn you that I'm an irreverent
iconoclast with a warped sense of humor.
Intro Vertex Remarks
In 1996 I chose to moniker the astrological Vertex with the nickname:
"Destiny's Gate"... it feels nice being responsible for
the coining of a term... even when it's only the relatively obscure
to the dictionary, the Vertex is: "the summit, the highest point reached
in the apparent motion of a celestial body or other points. Taken
from the Latin - vertere, meaning 'to turn.' "
the horoscopic chart, the astrological Vertex is calculated as being
the point located at the intersection of the Ecliptic (path of the
Sun) and the Prime Vertical, a plane that divides the celestial sphere
into front and back.
If none of that mumbo jumbo chart calculation stuff makes any sense,
then don't worry too much about it. It's primarily here for those
few certain pesky eggheads (who are generally greatly offended by
my referring to them as pesky eggheads) that might possibly know what
to do with it and/or like to think about such weighty things.
order to aid you in more fully understanding what the Vertex potentially
represents, you'll have to first bear with me as I discuss what I
call the primary Incarnational Axes.
Incarnational Axes – "Openings to Transcendence"
Through the passing of years I came to the conclusion that there were
three primary "incarnational" chart axes that tend to be
of foremost significance when looking at any type of chart. And we're
all, of course, rather familiar with these three incarnational axes...
three primary (and familiar) incarnational axes are the:
Ascendant/Descendant axis - magnetic axis
• the Midheaven/IC axis - gravity axis
• and the Lunar Node axis - karmic (or fate) axis
have had experiences of the soul’s transcendence since time
immemorial. Yet we continue to wonder...What do these experiences
prove? Do they offer a genuine vision of reality, or are they only
products of human imagination? Are they rooted in human desire,
in the wish for immortality, in projection?
are certain special moments in life, call them “openings to
transcendence,” when we confront a symbol and see reality
much as the Unconscious (according to Jung) sees and regards it
[reality] all of the time. At this level, the psyche knows no difference
between spirit and matter. They are identical. Figures from both
dimensions of reality are experienced as woven of the same threads.”
excerpt from Jungian Analyst and author Dr. Murray Stein’s
lecture on "The Reality of the Soul" 2000
word transcendence comes from two Latin words: trans and escendo.
Trans literally means "across." Escendo means "to climb."
So transcendence literally means "to climb across." As Dr.
Stein explains: an opening or signal to transcendence allows us "to
climb across" the artificial division between spirit and matter.
astrologically, the incarnational axes of the birth chart act as entry
points or (put another way) as “openings to transcendence.”
These astrological “openings to transcendence” are sensitive
to all the various planetary symbols: the Sun, the Moon, Mercury,
Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto.
Did I forget to mention that I later decided there is a fourth incarnational
axis that I now look at and consider...
The Fourth Incarnational Axis
The astrological Vertex is actually part of a two point axis
comprised of the Vertex and Anti-Vertex... and
as a chart axis... if your Vertex is located in 10 degrees of Scorpio,
then your anti-Vertex is located in 10 degrees of Taurus.
like all self-respecting incarnational axes, the Vertex/Anti-Vertex
axis generally functions as a "gate," "funnel,"
or "transcendent opening" into the astrological chart. The
Vertex/ Anti-Vertex axis is for good reason (that
I'm about to explain) also nicknamed the Electric Axis.
astrologers have devised fascinating distinctions between the Vertex
and the Anti-Vertex, with the Anti-Vertex generally having the more
negative and/or lessor effect. In practical experience, I haven't
noticed much of a difference.
to the "nature of the beast" - in any astrological chart,
the Vertex is normally found lurking around in either the 5th, 6th,
7th, or 8th house.
In Astrology (the Nitty Gritty)
So anyway, based on the astrological Vertex being located on a "turning
point" in your sky chart, it then probably has something to do
with "turning points" in your life. It does. Based
on it being located in the 5th through 8th houses, then you can also
bet it quite often has something to do with "meetings of people."
Again, it does.
Here's my personal astrological rule of thumb definition of
the Vertex: the astrological Vertex is a sensitive point
on the chart (any chart) that during unusual, extraordinary
times feels like an electric, fortunate "turning point" or
a meeting with "Destiny's Gate."
mentioned above, all self-respecting axes function as "gateways,"
"funnels," or "openings" into the astrological
chart. As such, when a birth (natal) planet is conjunct your birth
Vertex/anti-Vertex axis it may typically add strength to this planet's
placement and its potential efficacy in your life.
practice, the Vertex often feels like a compulsive, yet fortunate
experience and meeting up with destiny that you couldn't avoid (even
if you wanted to). According
to Bill Meridian (Mountain Astrologer, June/July 2001), astrologer,
Charles A. Jayne who (along with Lorne Johndro) first proposed using
the astrological Vertex, "felt this point was fated and that
it represented matters beyond our control."
was Johndro that nicknamed the Vertex the "electric ascendant."
Here's how I typically use the Vertex (and the anti-Vertex):
Gate can (among other things) be:
person (and how they effect you)
in synastry, the most effective when another person's natal Sun,
Moon, Ascendant, Midheaven, Venus or Mars conjuncts your natal
Vertex or anti-Vertex. I've gotten a wee bit stingy in my old
age - and I only (90% of the time) use conjunctions when
looking at the Vertex and anti-Vertex. Also, the slower a planet
is... the more narrow my orbs tend to get when looking at cross
aspects with the Vertex and anti-Vertex.
time (when you meet a special person)
when a transiting planet conjuncts your birth Vertex or anti-Vertex.
Careful What You Wish For
Through the years, I've discovered that it's a whopping big mistake
to overly romanticize the Vertex and/or the people that it brings
into our lives. In this regard, I especially like what my good friend
Aussie astrologer Judy Crichton Weeks has to say about the Vertex.
In a nutshell, she feels that the Vertex is a "relationship"
point and a "wish fulfillment" point. When the Vertex is
involved, we may get exactly what we wished for, but then again we
might (or might not) get it in a "perverse manner."
You (like me) may feel as if you've literally "wished" this
destined meeting with a person into existence. However, later on (after
everything's said and done)... she... er, I mean... "Destiny's Gate"
may not feel quite as "fortunate" as you originally thought!
destined meeting often fills one up with the sense of needing to bring
something (or someone) to "completion." As often as not,
a Vertex person can complicate your life. You may even find that you
simply can't "let go" of that pesky Vertex person (maybe
for years or even decades) until the "business" between
the two of you is finished and/or somehow felt to be complete.
Boring Word Of Caution
here's where some I'm going to lose some of you...
previously mentioned, the Vertex is a sensitive point on the chart
(any chart) that during unusual, extraordinary times
feels like a fortunate "turning point" or a meeting with "Destiny's
folks first discover the Vertex, they usually go a little "hog
wild" with it! It seems like most us assume anything and everything
about us and our chart is going to be unusual and extraordinary.
It's not and we're not.
yes, there are those "unusual, extraordinary" times when the
Vertex (and/or the Anti-Vertex) on a chart gets "lit up" and becomes
very powerful. Then, it seems, that in every subsidiary chart cast
(in relation to that original chart) - the Vertex is equally strong
and "lit up."
then, there are plenty of other times when it (the Vertex) ain't doing
a blessed thing... there are plenty of times when (for example) the
transiting Sun or Venus is going to pass over your birth chart and
you're not about to meet a new and exciting lover (and/or you're not
going to come into easy money). Other times... it may mean exactly
one small concrete example:
My birth (natal) Venus is closely conjunct my birth (natal) Vertex.
As such, I've gotten involved with two of the life changing (and gut
wrenching) "loves of my life," almost exactly at the very
moment the transiting Sun and/or Venus was passing over my birth (natal)
Vertex and/or anti-Vertex.
problem is that the Sun and/or Venus have also fortunately, once each
year, each passed over my birth (natal) Vertex and anti-Vertex (so
far, 108 some other times) when I didn't meet one of the life changing
(and gut wrenching) "loves of my life."
times that the Vertex did wisk someone significant into my life...
there was, of course, lots of other major stuff going on in my chart
and in their charts (including, in one case, where the transiting
North Lunar Node was exactly conjuncting her birth North Lunar Node
at precisely the moment we laid eyes on each other - and that "puppy"
only happens once every 18.5 years or so).
the example of the Sun or Venus passing over one's birth Vertex and/or
anti-Vertex generally appears to serve as a minor transit that sometimes
acts as a trigger for another more major transit, secondary progression,
and/or solar arc.
For all those folks who prefer and need solid, firm (1, 2, 3) definitions
of astrological points and symbols that you can always dogmatically
count on and use - the Vertex is going to be downright frustrating
and elusive. Questions arise, such as: "How do I use it?"
"How do I know when to use it?" "How do I know when
not to use it?"
I'm glad that it frustrates and confuses you. You may actually be
on the verge of learning something very important about the true nature
of astrology and artfully working with living, active symbols...
Chart Axes Rundown and Recap
Ascendant/Descendant axis is nicknamed the Magnetic
Midheaven/IC axis is nicknamed the Gravity
Lunar Nodes axis is nicknamed the Karmic
(or fate) Axis.
finally the Vertex/ Anti-Vertex axis is nicknamed
the Electric Axis.
Falconer's site where she also discusses the subject
of the Vertex and ever so cleverly (and aptly) intuitively links
it with the mythology of the Roman god Vertumnus and nymph Pomona.
Darn... but Kim's good...
Cycle of the Lunar Nodes in Individual Charts - Part
2 of Dane Rudhyar's article "How To Interpret the Lunar Nodes"
at the Rudhyar Archival Project.
to the Deep Menu
> Astrology > The
Deep > Vertex