Thursday, November 21, 2013

VERTEXITIES...and some of mine

In a nutshell, the Vertex and its opposite point, the Antivertex form a sensitive axis in an astrological chart, the Moon's Nodes form another, similar, axis. Sensitive axes are created when an astronomically calculated point crosses the Sun's path, the ecliptic. In the case of Vertex, it's when the Prime Vertical crosses the ecliptic.

If, like me, a passing reader feels easily confused about what and where are the various astronomically calculated points used in astrology, here's a good explanation by "Gregory", contributed to an astrology forum some years ago. Hat tip, too, to Mr Townley of Astro Cocktail for his note of Gregory's explanation.

For those die-hards who want to understand what the Vertex "really" is ( ), here's an explanation of the Horizon system of coordinates that we base our horoscopes on. The Horizon system is composed of a "celestial sphere" which can be visualized as a great sphere surrounding the Earth. All of the points on Earth map to equivalent points on the celestial sphere, which contains the various "great circles" that define an astrological chart.

The simplest picture of the horizon system, above, shows the celestial sphere (a projection of the surface of the earth) defined by the North and South poles, the Equator, and the Meridian (longitude) on which you were born. The red X is the point directly above the place on Earth where you were born, and is called the Zenith.

The plane of the ecliptic bisects the Earth as it travels around the Sun. The ecliptic (red circle) is the third "great circle" in the horizon system of coordinates.

From the point on Earth where you are born (beneath the Zenith) the Horizon appears to be another great circle bisecting the Earth from that point of view. Where the Horizon intersects with the Equator is the point due East of the birthplace, called the Equatorial Ascendant. (For those in the Northern hemisphere, it is just north of the Ascendant where the Sun and all the planets appear to "rise" along the ecliptic.)

The final great circle in the Horizon system is called the Prime Vertical. It is the circle drawn through the Equatorial Ascendant, Zenith, and Nadir. Where the Prime Vertical intersects the Ecliptic in the West is called the Vertex. Here the opposite of the Vertex is shown, the Anti-Vertex.

To see the actual Vertex, we have to extend the Prime Vertical and Ecliptic to show the other half of these great circles on the other side of the Celestial Sphere. As you can see, this point is 180 degrees away from the Anti-Vertex. Since the Ecliptic is the plane of the Zodiac, in this example you can see that the Vertex would be in the 8th house. It is almost always in the 5th, 6th, 7th or 8th House.

Of all available astrological explanations, I like Dr.Z's article on this topic: The Vertex in astrology (or Destiny's Gate: the Electric Axis) For me, this explains the Vertex better than anything I've so far encountered.

Metaphorically the crossing point could be likened to a live wire, which, if touched in a certain way will provide a response of some kind. Sometimes, when transiting planets or other points (for example the Moon's Nodes) pass over the Vertex point in a natal chart, I've found from my own experience, that it can (though not always) turn out to be a time for some event of note to take place. I can give a few examples from my own life story, covering a long span of years. Not every crossing of the Vertex heralds a significant event, but when it does, it sure can prove to be a life-changing one!
My Vertex is at 29.8 Scorpio, Anti-vertex point at 29.8 Taurus. Natal Mars lies at 28.54 Scorpio. Having a personal planet conjunct Vertex point could well account for all or some of the events below, or it could simply intensify the experiences.

Some identifiable life events of my own connected to the Vertex/Antivertex axis:

Final split with my first husband came as North Node of the Moon conjoined Antivertex point.

I met a long-term partner of 33 years as Neptune conjoined Vertex, we started to live together as Jupiter conjoined Vertex point in my chart.

I started my 24 year civil service career as North Node of the Moon conjoined Vertex point in my chart.

I met my present husband in person for the first time as transiting North Node conjoined Antivertex point.
Does any of that prove anything? Not conclusively, it does provide food for thought. The whole chart for each event would need to be thoroughly analysed, because there might well be other transiting planetary positions playing a part, both in my chart and those of others involved - but the fact remains that my Vertex point was definitely one factor in the mix. It has to be taken into consideration also that I have a personal planet, Mars, conjoining my Vertex point, which might mean that it's extra sensitive in my chart.

Vertex position in a natal chart can be calculated at After inputting birth data at "Free horoscopes", go to Extended Chart Selection and highlight "Vertex" in the list of options.


mike said...

I started observing the vertex a couple of years ago...some things correlate when I review my life's history. I can utilize astrology to better define and understand the past. My life's major turning points do correlate to astrological events, yet many astrological events affecting my natal chart have not correlated or produced events in my life.

I read an article about the human brain a couple of years ago and one line stays with me: humans have an incredible capacity to correlate events that don't actually correlate! Astrology does work for me, but mostly in generalities. The forecasting aspect of astrology is much more difficult, particularly when I aim for specifics. Something usually does happen, but not as I would have foreseen the astrological implication.

I have the transiting N Node due to conjunct my vertex in January...we'll see if anything occurs.

Twilight said...

mike ~ There are so many possibilities of correlation with real life in astrology that at times it can get to the point that astrology can make anything mean anything. This is why I avoid so many tools and methods taught in text books. You can find a correlation one way, and something indicating the opposite using a different tool, and a third possibility using some other method.

Vertex - I just see it as a potentially sensitive point in the chart, Moons' Nodes the same.

Vertex' nicknames, such as "Destiny's Gate" does give it a touch more romance and draws us in. :-)

mike (again) said...

Maybe the vertex is like the "Prisoners' Dilemma"...LOL

There's a Betrayers' Banquet in London...sounds fun (and probably expensive!).

Twilight said...

mike ~ I hadn't come across the "Prisoners' Dilemma" before.
Maybe all astrology is like that too. ;-)

Betrayers' Banquet -“A fun evening of socialising with an eclectic mix of London’s
switched–on, tuned–in, finger–on–the–pulse, trendy crowd.”

OMG!!! I'd rather have hot needles poked through my eyeballs!