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(Or Yods, Kites, Grand Cross, and other Planetary Configurations)

It's a Family Affair
According to astrologer Liz Greene, planetary configurations for purposes of illustration can be likened to small families of planets residing within the birth chart - and the birth chart may contain more than one of these little families. (It gets even more fun when one planet belongs to two or more of the small families....)

In a nutshell... planetary "families" are systems of interconnected and interdependent individuals, none of which can be fully understood and/or appreciated in isolation from the rest of the system.

Furthermore, like our families, all planetary configurations are at least a wee bit neurotic and dysfunctional in nature. Granted, some tend to be more dysfunctional than others.

Closed/Open Systems

Closed Family
Borrowing heavily from the "Bowen Family Systems Theory," some dysfunctional families are totally clueless about any of the problems and/or issues going on in their family. Everyone goes about playing their designated, agreed upon, and expected role in the family; and so life in the family goes on unimpeded.

These are called Closed Systems or Families. Closed Families don't appreciate other people horning in and messing with the harmony of their perfect little family. Closed Families tend to have a basic core "dynamic" with predictable patterns of behavior.

Family therapist Nathan Ackerman's concept of "homeodynamic principle" holds that following an interruption (such as family therapy) of these patterns of behavior, the previous family patterns tend to re-emerge.

In the birth chart, some planetary configurations are like this clueless family. These are the Closed configurations.

How to Recognize a Closed configuration? Closed configurations will have all equal sides and equal angles. Symbolically this means that Closed configurations don't appreciate other planets horning in and messing with their perfect little family. And the three most common Closed planetary configurations are: the Stellium (See "Thick As A Brick" for info on Stelliums), the Grand Trine, and the Grand Cross.

In a closed family there are no obvious visual "focus" points that can give any clues as to the behavior of the configuration and/or which planet (or planets) will act as the central character(s) or focal point.

Closed Configuration examples

If the Grand Trine in your chart could speak – it would tell you something like: "Life is easy. Life is nice. Life is simple." In a "classic" Grand Trine pattern, all of the planets are happy companions. The planets involved are located in the same element but are in different modes. This means they're all basically in agreement and work easily together. A Grand Trine is a lot like the family members that make up the "Brady Bunch."
If the Grand Cross in your chart could speak – it would tell you something like: "Life is difficult. Life is hard. Life is conflict." In a "classic" Grand Cross, all of the planets are located in different elements but are in the same mode. They're all equal participants in the family unit. A Grand Cross a lot like "All In the Family."

So is a Grand Trine qualitatively better than a Grand Cross? You'll have to answer that question for yourself. Would you rather be the "Brady Bunch" or "All In the Family?"

Open Family
Other family systems are aware of that fact that they're dysfunctional. This family is only too cognizant of the fact that something's "not quite right." The Open Family is experiencing tension and stress among family members - and this family recognizes they've got some very serious communication problems and/or issues going on. And since this family wisely recognizes the tension and stress among family members, the open family is more "open" to possible change and intervention. Therefore, they often make the wise decision to go together for family therapy.

According to Liz Greene, in the astrological chart, some planetary configurations are like this family who decides to go in for therapy. These are the Open configurations. The Open planetary configurations consist of the T-square, Kite, Yod and (almost) everything else not included in the Closed configurations. These Open planetary configuration families are conscious enough to recognize that they are experiencing pain, distress, and tension within the family unit. They recognize their need for outside intervention and (most importantly) change.

Open Configurations Examples

Kites are often considered to be a welcome addition to a Grand Trine, because they add in the tension (and energy) of an opposition (the red line) and thus bring a focus point to this family of planets.
T-squares also have a focus point. In this case the focus point is generally the planet which is squared the two other planets in opposition.
And finally we have the Yod… the Yod also has a focus point. See if you can guess which planet in this chart is the focus planet...

Yep! The focus planet is the planet on the far right hand side of the chart.

Oh My Yod!
The Yod is sometimes called the Neurotic planetary configuration.

Let's take a closer look at the Yod...

Final Page> Oh My Yod Finale > Page 1, 2, 3, 4
Alright...alright... remain calm... it's now time to focus briefly on the Yod...

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