written and posted in 1996, with significant revision and expansion
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 discovered this popular (but laborious) Vertex article via the much
beloved Google search engine - and it's your first experience traveling
with me - then I'll warn you that I'm an irreverent iconoclast (there
are no sacred cows) with a warped sense of humor.
Intro Vertex Remarks
to Bill Meridian (Mountain Astrologer, June/July 2001), astrologer,
it was Charles A. Jayne that (along with Lorne Johndro) first proposed
using the astrological Vertex, and "felt this point was fated and
that it represented matters beyond our control."
the 90s I monikered the astrological Vertex with the nickname: "Destiny's
Gate"... it feels all nice, cuddly, and warm inside 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 (generally greatly offended by 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 astrological Incarnational Axes.
Astrological Incarnational Axes – "Openings to Transcendence"
Through the passing of years I'd come to the conclusion that there were
three primary astrological "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
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
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.
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.
Did I forget to mention that I later decided there is a fourth axis
that I now look at and consider to be a primary "incarnational
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 12 degrees of Scorpio,
then your anti-Vertex is located in 12 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."
Charles A. Jayne, along with Lorne Johndro, that first proposed using
the astrological Vertex, and "felt this point was fated and that
it represented matters beyond our control."
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).
was Lorne 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 had to say about the Vertex. In a nutshell,
she felt 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
what she referred to as 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 greatly complicate your life. You may even find that
you simply can't "let go" of that pesky Vertex person (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 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 Gate."
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
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 that.
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,
246 other times) when I (fortunately) didn't meet one of the life changing
(and gut wrenching) "loves of my life." That, after all, would
be exhausting and disruptive.
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 this fascinating fantasy novelist
deftly 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... (smart, talented, and
good looks... it's just not fair to those of us only cursed with 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.
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