by Richard Smoot
Much of Astrology focuses on our external actions and inner psychological interconnection. Humans are far more complex than these two arenas. It is my belief that it is the journey of a human’s life to explore all facets of experience. Much of these deeper human realms can be found in the use of Antiscia points.
Exploring the full range of our human experience involves so much more than the social actions we engage in daily. To understand our “full” selves, we need to reach areas of existence and experience. In our client work, the Antiscia can be used to discover and interpret the hidden parts of personality. Furthermore we can aid our clients in defining sensitive times with, when and how these hidden characteristics could show themselves.
Also known as “Solstice Points,” the Antiscia of planets represent our shadow and reflections of ourselves. Knowledge and use of the Antiscia date back to Ptolemy and Julius Firmicus Maternus in the 2nd century BCE. (1) Shadow and reflections are archetypical in that every culture throughout time has an association and symbolic reference to shadows and reflections. Most recently “shadows” in the human psyche are described by Carl Jung. (2)
A shadow, or a reflection, is not a real object, but a representation and interpretation of an object. Such are Antiscia points in a chart; they are a representation of unconscious compensating values to those held by the conscious personality. The “shadow” often represents one’s dark side - those aspects of a person that exist, but are not shown normally. To know our shadow is to know dimensions of ourselves that we can explore.
It is important to note that Antiscia points are just points; they have no connection to house placement or rulership and cannot be used as such in interpretations. Antiscia points are only sensitive contacts where we can find information regarding our inner selves, our libidinal urges, and our anima/animus. (3)
Shadow is the inferior part of the personality; it is the sum of all personal and collective psychic elements which, because of their incompatibility with the chosen conscious attitude, are denied expression life and therefore coalesce into a relatively autonomous “splinter personality” with contrary tendencies in the unconscious. The shadow behaves compensatory to consciousness; hence its effects can positive as
well as negative.
Because a reflection is not a real object, it is different than a shadow in that a reflection shows the reality that exists within a person as it interacts with the outside world. The reflection is distorted by the observer through their own persona and collective worldview past experiences. When activated by transit or progression, the Antiscia points can appear in conscious form and the person can “act-out” and are often seen by society as exhibiting “abnormal” or “antisocial” behavior. Yet, it is important that we understand and know our shadow selves. The shadow self is revealed as if we are expressing ouranimal and primal selves with no regard to social convention or norms. Some well established past public displays by Britney Spears, Charlie Sheen, Tiger Woods, Lindsey Lohan and Whitney Houston are notable by transits and progressions to their natal Antiscia points.
For us astrologers, this means we can locate periods oftime in a client’s chart where stress or other circumstances can reveal a reaction that appears to be out of that person’scharacter. This could be as mild as developing coping mechanisms to complete personality changes.
These periods are very important for theyallow us to experience our full selves and gain a deeper understanding of the depths and range of our human experience.The Antiscia of a natal planet is found in most higher end astrology software, such as Sirius, Kepler, and Solar Fire. You can also derive the Antiscia by using a simple formula. Below is a graphic of sending and receiving Antiscia signs.
In looking at the zodiacal graphic, thesign of Aries will have an Antiscia in the sign of Virgo; the reverse is also true. This also applies to Taurus/Leo and Gemini/Cancer. Above the Asc/Dec axis, Pisces will have an Antiscia in the sign of Libra; and the reverse would also be true. This also applies to Aquarius/Scorpio and Capricorn/Sagittarius.
In a declination graphic (below) one can see how the Sun's annual north/south travel sets up the Antiscia or Solstice sign. Solstice is from the Latin, "solstitium, from sol ("sun") + sto ("stand") (4).
To manually find an Antiscia, choose the planet and the sign it is in and make note of the planets degree and minute. Find the corresponding Antiscia sign and subtract from 30 degrees the position of the natal planet. The result will be the degrees and minutes for the Antiscia planet. Do this for all the planets and angles, and you will have your Antiscia sensitive points. Here are two examples:
1. You have natal Venus at 13:47 Leo and want to find its Antiscia point. Note the Antiscia sign for Leo is Taurus. So take 29:60 (30 degrees) minus 13:47 and the answer is 16:13 of Taurus as your natal Venus Antiscia point. Transits and/or progressions to 16:13 Taurus would “set off” shadow or reflective characteristics of natal Venus according to the type of aspect and the nature of the transit and/or progression. Remember the Antiscia point is only a point and does not hold house placement or rulership. If Uranus is making a square to Venus Antiscia point there may be an urge for a sexual interaction; the quick repulsion or attraction to someone; or your sense of harmony and compatibility could be upset, especially in the areas where natal Venus rules.
2. Here is another example. Your natal Sun at 9:44 Gemini and want to find its Antiscia point. Note the Antiscia sign for Gemini is Cancer. So take 29:60 (30 degrees) minus 9:44 and the answer is 20:16 of Cancer as your natal Sun Antiscia point. Any major aspect by transits and/or progressions to 20:16 of Cancer would “set off” shadow or reflective characteristics of natal Sun according to the type of aspect and the nature of the transit and/or progression. At the time of this writing transiting Venus will be making a conjunction to this Antiscia Sun. One could experience a deep sense of harmony and well-being and want to act on it in way that is not common for them. Since this is a fast transit, they may find them selves wanting to act in a Venusian way where the Sun is in by house or rulership (Leo.) There “not common” acting out may only be observed by them, however they will have gained a deeper peek into their personality and identity than ever before.
In using Antiscia points in a natal chart, you will most likely find Natal planets making aspect with another Antiscia planet. These are important. In this case, the natal planet receives the shadow/reflection and its connection while the Antiscia planet point will further emphasize the Natal planets character. Antiscia points are activated when a transiting planet or secondary progression with any major aspect (2 degrees applying and one degree separating) is in effect.
It is as if the Natal planet develops a new persona not seen before by others or the native and it opens a period of time where the native’s experiences dimensions of themselves they have not worked with, but need to, for them to fully be human or experience the full depths of their “animal” self. Since celebrities are the most obvious for us to witness in a period exhibiting non-social behavior, let us look at Charlie Sheen for one of the many periods in his rocky life where a combination of transits, and progressions manifested a change in his life. It is the Antiscia points that brought about the bizarre anti-social melt down we witnessed in March 2011 in his “Winning Tour.”
Charlie Sheen was born as Carlos Irwin Estevez on September 3, 1965 at 10:48 PM EDT, New York, NY. (AstroDatabank AA rating) Below is the bi-wheel of Charlie Sheen’s natal chart with his Antiscia chart on the outside.
Note the following 1-degree major aspects: Natal Sun opposition Antiscia Venus; Natal Venus opposition Antiscia Sun. It is these (and a few inconjuncts Sun/ Neptune, Uranus/Pluto) that are sensitive points are theme areas where Mr. Sheen can and will explore issues within his shadow self and reflection of self. Sun=identity, ego; Venus=compatibility, harmony, sensuality, and love. The inconjuncts between Sun/ Neptune, Uranus/Pluto could bring in more of the darker and unpredictable nature of Mr. Sheen’s personality and actions. If you research Mr. Sheen’s history, this theme has been expressed throughout his adult life.
In looking at his personal and professional “meltdown” (March 10, 2011), see chart, Mr. Sheen had many powerful secondary progressions and transits active. These could tell most of the story at the time. Yet Mr. Sheen’s inner battle with his shadow, anima and libido (animal) self were quite strong and lend more to his inner challenges and growth than other forecasting tools. By transit and secondary progression, transit Sun conjunct progressed Chiron; transit Sun inconjunct natal Venus; progressed Ascendant trine natal Saturn; progressed Midheaven trine natal Mercury (chart ruler) and other planetary connections.
A new and shadow/reflection part of Mr. Sheen’s experience of self can be found in the transits and secondary aspects to his Antiscia points. A key occurrence is that natal Antiscia Pluto and natal Antiscia Saturn are in opposition and the progressed Ascendant forms a T-Square to those points. This shows the Saturn/Pluto battle in his natal Antiscia chart (lifelong aspect) is now squared by his secondary progressed Ascendant. It is as if Mr. Sheen projects the inner shadow struggle between Saturn and Pluto through his current personality path (progressed Ascendant.) There are quite a few other Antiscia point connections, such as progressed Mars/Venus square Antiscia Venus and progressed Jupiter conjunct Antiscia point Jupiter.
By transit or secondary progression, Antiscia point orbs are not more than 2 degrees applying and one degree separating. The Antiscia planet point receives the nature of the transit or progression and sends the “shadow or reflection” to the same natal planet. The natal planet will experience the “shadow or reflection” and act in a way of the Antiscia point planet and the nature of the aspecting planet in exploring the shadow/reflection.
I currently have no research completed using solar arc, primary, or tertiary directions with the Antiscia, however it seems likely these valid forecasting tools hold promise and are worthy of further research.
In conclusion, I ask the reader to experiment using Antiscia points, especially with partners’ spouses and friends. Place their Antiscia chart on a bi-wheel with your natal chart in the center and find the connections. Most likely you will discover shadow connections in your chart with the other person. Its action in the relationship will often challenge you to act differently and in ways not expected.
Were there periods in your life where you acted unlike your regular self or were told by others that you were acting “different”? It could have been a period where people stayed away from you or reached out to you. These are indications that transits or progressions were activating your Antiscia points.
By observing the events and behaviors of clients or others we can perhaps the journey people take when the Antiscia is in in action. These events and their sometime extreme action are not easily seen with our common tools of natal or forecasting tools. It’s all about our individual journey in life both in society and with the deeper reaches of or personality and the experience of our inner selves, our hidden selves and our instinctual animal self (libido.) Being “fully” human is to experience all we can.
1 “The Antiscia of the Greeks has been handed down by tradition. I do not wish anyone to think that the Greeks have not discussed this. For even Ptolemy followed no other theory but that of Antiscia, Antiochus said that indeed Libra did not see Aries because the Earth was in the middle, as if through a mirror, reached the theory of the Antiscia. Dorotheus of Sidon, on the other hand, a very wise man who wrote about forecasting by the stars in very accurate and learned verses, explained the calculation of the Antiscia in clear terms in his fourth book.” Julius Firmicus Maternus, The Mathesis: AncientAstrology Theory and Practice [The references Firmicus Maternus gives above are
to Ptolemy (c. 127-148 CE), Antiochus (first century BCE) and to Dorotheus of Sidon, (first part of the first century)].
2 C. G. Jung: “The shadow personifies everything that the subject refuses to acknowledge about himself and yet is always thrusting itself upon him directly or indirectly-for instance, inferior traits of character and other incompatible tendencies.” (The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious, Collected Works 9, i, pp. 284 f.) “... the shadow [is] that hidden, repressed, for the most part inferior and guilt-laden personality whose