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Sympathy & Resonance: principles in synastry

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Sympathy and Resonance


By Rev Pam Crane D.F.Astrol.S., D.M.S.Astrol.(Hon.),

(as Pam Bennett)

SYMPATHY:- community of feeling: power of entering into another's feelings or mind:   harmonious understanding:  compassion, pity: affinity or correlation whereby one thing responds to the action of another or to action upon another: agreement.” (Newnes Family Dictionary)

This article does not intend to present an in-depth examination of the art of interpretative synastry; rather it is designed to clarify a little the ways in which two or more patterns - whether natal charts or horary figures - act upon each other.

The approach taken is basically harmonic; those readers still unfamiliar with harmonic astrology are referred to the work of John Addey, and an introduction to Michael Heleus’ work in Astrosonics appears in the Astrological Journal, Vol. XVII No. 2, Spring 1975. The term “Equivalence” will appear here and there in the text; this is my own term to express the effect of domal analogues, where the interval in degrees/minutes of arc between any two bodies or points is identical to that between two others, irrespective of their location in the celestial sphere ... though in astrology these are generally confined to the Ecliptic.

The first approach to any chart comparison should be through the individual assessment of the given patterns, as integral wholes, and the matching of their separate significance; this is essential work, as it goes a long way toward establishing the appropriateness of the relationship they create. However many contacts there are between the charts, if the meaning of the wholes is lacking in coherence, then despite powerful attraction a long-term or significant link may not be at all viable.

Synastry and Contact
Conversely, however, it is no good having two patterns that fundamentally tell the same story, if there are few points of degree contact between them: the reason for this becomes clear if you consider that where there are no contacts, there can be no simultaneous stimulus from transiting or progressed conditions - and the very essence of a relationship lies in the joint experiencing of a given period of life, and of each other's moods, activities and development. If, for example, A has most planets near the end of signs, and B's planets are all in degrees near the middle, they may scrape up an occasional semi-square or sesquiquadrate between them but this will not compensate for the fact that when Uranus  was in late Libra it would have all been happening for A, leaving B quite undisturbed and still waiting for the big purge from Pluto. B cannot be involved in A's period of Uranian change - it does not touch him; therefore there can be no relationship close enough for this kind of sharing.

Where the planets in two charts, C and D, interconnect closely through major aspects, it follows that transit conditions triggering responses from C (eg Pluto in early Libra) will be simultaneously affecting D. If C is a woman with Mars in 9° Sagittarius and D a man whose Venus is in 9° Aries, and both have joined a sports club whose inception chart shows Mercury  in orbs of 9° Gemini, then the joint stimulus of all three patterns might -  falling on an AGM - tally with the election of C as club secretary and D as treasurer, drawing them into frequent contact and thus into the kind of powerful and exciting relationship for which each is psychologically prepared by the Pluto contact. The more, and more various, contacts there are between the charts, and the closer they are by orb, the more experience they are likely to share, more frequently, and with greater intimacy. The nature of the mutual contacts may be challenging - through the conjunctions, and 2nd, 4th and 8th harmonics - or pleasant and uncomplicated, through the 3rd and 6th harmonics; they may be between sympathetic planets or uncongenial; but whatever the nature of the linking aspects there is constant potential for joint experience and interaction, and therefore for growth.

The traditional approach to synastry examines the aspects between any pair of charts straightforwardly; C's Mars in 9° Sagittarius is trine D's Venus in 9° Aries, and so forth. In recent years there has been an increase in techniques that can be added to the above, not only more attention paid to the subtler aspects and the development of harmonic astrology, but the exploration of the dynamics of personal interaction through the direct and indirect midpoint contacts between charts, the use of domal analogues, and the very recent upsurge of interest in Composite charts where a map is made from the midpoints of Sun A/ Sun B, Moon A/ Moon B, etc.

All these techniques appear to have validity, and I now propose to formulate these simply, in order to show that they each - although appearing rather different - are based on one fundamental principle, which takes two forms.

Sympathetic Resonance
The principle is that of sympathetic resonance. Given a resonant system to begin with - which we in the Earth-Moon system may have in the lines of force of the Earth's magnetic field, which must in turn react with the interplanetary field of the Solar system - given this, if it is set vibrating by a tone, not only will that tone resound but inaddition a whole series of natural harmonics related to that fundamental tone. These are the same harmonics that would be produced by the division of a string, vibrating with that tone, by whole integers (2, 4, 8, etc., 3, 6, and so on). Similarly, if a cosmic great circle is imagined to vibrate, its natural harmonics will resonate together in degrees of strength depending on the nature and focus of the stimulus.

Let us take Pluto in 9° Libra again: not only does it focus its special stimulus in that degree, but excites sympathetic response in the 2nd harmonic of the ecliptic circle at 9° Aries, in the 4th at 9° Cancer and Capricorn, in the 8th at 24° of the fixed signs, in the 3rd in 9° of Air, and in the 6th at 9° of Fire also. One may proceed to subdivide by higher and higher integers to evoke harmonics of even greater subtlety and higher pitch; to be aware of such tones a certain sensitivity is required, and it can be no accident of etymology that we refer to persons in a sensitive state as “highly strung”, “keyed up”, “up tight”, “at fever pitch” ... implying a tautness that is hyper-sensitive to the slightest stimulus, and from which, like the violin-string, we “unwind”, “tone down” our responses, and may end up feeling”low”. Uncertain of our next step, first we may “sound out” a colleague or a situation by observing response to a given stimulus.
Interestingly, these uses of the word “sound” derive from the same Old English root “sund” meaning “swimming” that gives the same name to a strait and a fish’s swim-bladder; sound is transmitted through the fluids of the inner ear, in the spiral of the shell-shaped Cochlea - a Cancerian principle that extends to the third concept of “sound” as safe, whole, uninjured; orthodox; and deep, as in sleep ... “deep” again suggestive of water, and all this reminiscent of the sanctuary of the fluid-filled womb. The root here is again Old English, “gesund”. One wonders what strength and type of vibrations are carried through the fluids to the developing child.

Striking a chord
In a relationship, then, our friends C and D are reciprocally resonating in a number of ways; they are “singing the same song” several times over - they are “in tune”, “on each other's wavelength”. Let us look at the various ways in which they can strike a chord in each other. For convenience we shall use Sun (SO) and Moon (MO) in each case as example planets, ‘ signifying one partner, “ signifying the other.

A.    The simplest, most obvious way is to have planets conjoined in in the zodiac. If SO' and MO" are both in 9° Libra, then

0° AR/SO' = 0° AR/MO"

and the identical harmonic of the circle is excited twice; they sing in unison.

B.    But a similar phenomenon may be produced if SO' is at 9° Libra  (0° Aries + 189°) and MO" is 9° into the 7th house, i.e. at ASC + 189°; an arc is present in each pattern which excites that same harmonic, only the phase is different. It is this which I term “Equivalence”.

0° Aries/SO' = ASC/MO"

The same arc might be found between any pair of planets. A husband and wife of my acquaintance have an interesting resonance; whereas she has MO/JU = 7° he has SO/SA = 7°, and in each case the 7° arc is precise. Hers is in Cancer, his in Gemini, and it manifests in his immediate cold rationality whenever she is moved to deep emotion, and sometimes as a verbal snub from him when she has splashed out on something special to use or wear.

C.    Where the two Suns, for example, find themselves conjoined, a double effect appears: not only do we have the duplicated arc and harmonic of

0° Aries/SO' = 0° Aries/SO"

D.  ...   but also implied is an Astrosonic affect, the mutual resonance of identical derived frequencies. (This can only occur, however, between matched planetary pairs, e.g. the above, or SO'/MO' and SO" /MO" - see M. C. Heleus: “Astrosonics”.) They may not be separated by identical arcs; C may have SO'/MO' = 99° and D may have SO"/MO" = 189°. Each arc would then be expressed in Hertz as an Astrosonic frequency; if the lesser were to divide into the greater by a whole integer, the two pairs would still resonate, through a natural harmonic relationship unconnected with the harmonics of the circle - though they would also relate in that way, the lesser arc dividing evenly into the greater arc:

SO"/MO"                         SO"/MO"Hz
————   = N,  and      ——————   = N
SO'/MO'                           SO'/MO'Hz

E.    The nature of the Astrosonic phenomenon implies that the identical frequency may be generated by the arc of a totally unrelated planetary pair, or a frequency bearing a harmonic relationship to the initial pair where (e.g.)

—————         = N,  and N is a whole integer.
VE’/SA’ Hz

F.    Straightforward mutual aspects (e.g. SO' trine MO") can be expressed thus:

SO'/MO" = 360°     or,     N   =    360°      (in this case N = 3)
                       ——                        ————
                         N                          SO'/MO"

G.    ... and a pure Astrosonic chord, the derived frequency in natural harmony with the originating synod (SF =  synod frequency), may also be generated through such contacts:

SO'/MO"Hz =   SO/MO SF     or    N =  SO/MO SF
                                 —————                         —————
                                         N                                 SO'/MO"Hz

H.    In the case of Midpoint synastry where divers planets and points are involved in midpoint structures, Astrosonic frequency can have no bearing on the resonances; these arise as in item B, through Equivalence:

Where SO'/VE' = MO" the following equivalence exists:

SO'/MO" = MO"/VE'

Indirect midpoints constitute a natural octave (2, 4, 8, 16 etc.) or otherwise harmonic relationship in zodiacal equivalence.

I.     In Composite chart synastry, the usual approach to date is to assess the harmonic relationships that arise in the mapped Composite. Any such relationship can be expressed as follows:

*(SO' + SO") - (MO' + MO")   =   360°
———————————                 ——
                           2                                       N


                       2 x 360°
————————————        =    N
(SO ' + SO") - (MO ' + MO")

* The lesser sum is subtracted from the greater. If the result is within a few degrees of 0° or 360° the relationship is likely to be either a conjunction or an opposition of Composite Sun and Moon (etc.), i.e. they relate in the conjunction, or in the 2nd harmonic, falling on the same axis. For a 5° orb of aspect in the Composite chart, N may vary (for conjunction or opposition) by 0.06 of a whole integer.

J.     It is possible that this formula may also give an effective Composite frequency, if the synod frequency of SO/MO is substituted for 360° in the equations above.

K.    Identical Astrosonic frequencies are generated in the Composite where the composite Sun conjoins the radix Moon in one partner's chart:

SO'/MO' = MO'/SO"

L.    Composite chart Midpoints contacting planets in either of the radical maps may be expressed as follows:

(SO' + SO") + (MO' + MO")
————————————     =    X

where X represents the radix body - or any factor in the Composite itself, or another given chart, that lies in or close to the same degree.

The use of Midpoints in the Composite Chart has been disputed in some quarters, the argument being that these would then be “Midpoints of Midpoints”.

However, the concept of these joint patterns as Midpoints, although correct, misses something far more fundamental, which is brought to light through the harmonic relationship expressed in these pages: that is that the Composite Sun, for example, is not in itself a Sun, but is that point in the zodiac where the two partner Suns are resonated simultaneously through the transit of a third factor, whether body, node, or angle.

The resonance takes two forms: one is the natural harmonic of the 360° circle, or complex of harmonics, created by the relationship between the transiting factor and each of the partner factors; the other is the derived frequency, Planet R/Planet T, the fraction of the normal synod frequency of the two planets involved.

I refer to these relationships universally as Transits, whether the resonating factor is a currently transiting one, or is a contact made to the Composite point by a factor in one of the partner radices or in the chart of a related individual or phenomenon.

This is because every exercise in Synastry can be looked on, and interpreted, as one set of factors transiting the radix of another, setting up resonances, and acting thus as a complex of stimuli of varying kinds and degrees of significance.

Where the partner charts have an aspect-pattern in common (e.g. each has a MA/NE square) this pattern will be repeated in the Composite chart, laying emphasis on the role of this shared trait in the structure and purpose of the relationship.

It is possible that the Sensitive is subliminally receptive to these complex resonance-patterns, both geometric and harmonic, in inner space and inner time. The woman a man is going to meet for the first time next year already resonates with him, and so does the house he will live in many years hence, if it has already been built, and so does the town in which it stands. A particular set of sounds and forms characterises this man, and signifies all those people and places and things that await him, as well as those moments that already exist as preordained resonances in the time-patterns ahead that will bind him to those same things and people.

To sum up, the basic requirements to create a dynamic pattern in synastry are as follows:

1.    Person A          —   natal resonances
2.    Person B          —   natal resonances
3.    Person A          —   developed resonances (progressed, converse, Solar Arc)
4.    Person B          —   developed resonances
5.    Opportunity    —   current (transiting) resonances.

I have not examined the possibilities contained in the developed patterns; in any given chart comparison these may be as strong as or stronger than the natal contacts. While these constitute part of the readiness of one partner for the other, they are necessarily passing phenomena, and a relationship bound by developed resonances only will be able to last only as long as the two patterns continue to resonate.

Transits to Composites
I have found that transits to the Composite work with considerable accuracy; it is so often the exact pair of resonances (e.g. SO'/SO C = SO C/SO", or SO'/PL T = PL T/SO" where Pluto is transiting the Composite Sun) which time the related event, the shared experience. You will appreciate the need for a really narrow orb of effect: 1 ° of orb on the transit to the Composite point is in effect 2° of orb in the partnership - e.g. if A's Sun is at 6° of a sign and B's Sun is at 20°, the C Sun point is at 13° ... but if transiting planet T reaches 12°, the interval AT = 6° but TB = 8°, a discrepancy of 2° that falls some way short of the required concord.

A particularly interesting chart is the Composite of the USA map (Declaration of Independence) and the figure for the San Francisco Earthquake. It is not so much the pattern of this Composite as it stands that is of interest, but its strong and suggestive relationship to the USA map; for the C MC in 27°52' Capricorn conjoins the USA Pluto by 29', C Neptune is ½° from the USA IC, and with the C North Node makes a very close (7') midpoint square to the Taurus C ASC; C Sun and C Mars are closely conjoined with C Venus on the USA Uranus/ ASC (in my view offering a nice confirmation of 8° Gemini ASC), C Uranus is close to the USA Neptune, and C Jupiter is only 25' from the USA Mars. Taking ' as referring to the USA map, and " as referring to the Earthquake, we have resonance formulae as follows:

MC '/PL' = PL’/MC " (pinning down the time of the ‘quake)

NE'/IC = IC/NE"      ( ditto )

                       2 x 360
————————————                 =3.95     (4 - 0.05)
(NE' + NE") - (ASC ' + ASC ")

                         2 x 360
————————————                 = 4.06
(NO' + NO") - (ASC ’ + ASC ")

(MA' + MA") - (SO' + SO") = 3°32' (a conjunction)


UR'/NE' = NE'/UR"

JU’/MA' = MA'/JU" (in the USA map Mars is 15° from Jupiter, and fire followed the 'quake.)

These patterns suggest a fresh approach to the attempted prediction of earthquakes; however, much research would be needed to confirm the type of data required, as although these two maps relate through factors long associated with earthquake phenomena, an attempt to repeat the technique with the recent Italian disaster (using Udine as the locus of the earthquake map and the chart cast for Italy on 2nd July 1871) failed to produce a significant number of close, ‘heavy’ contacts, instead laying emphasis - somewhat surprisingly - on VE/ NN. However, this does not invalidate the implications of the San Francisco Composite; scanning for future resonances by computer according to the above type of formulae and selecting for ‘heavy’ factors is likely to yield results whenever a cluster appears - maybe not manifesting as an earthquake but as an event of national significance. Researchers in the field may find this useful to explore.

* * * * * * * * * * * *