Definition of Astrological Midpoints
|Standard Midpoint Notation: Above Picture Reads “Mercury equals Saturn Pluto”, which means Mercury makes a hard aspect to the midpoint of Saturn and Pluto.|
The midpoints method relates 3 symbols toward one another, in the context of one planet (or point) being in the middle of 2 other planets or points. This is expressed as:
A = B/C
“B/C” denotes the midpoint of B and C. A is the planet or point in the middle (midpoint) of B and C.
The equal sign “=” denotes that A makes a contact by a hard aspect (conjunction, square or opposition) to the midpoint of B & C.
Hard aspect has to do with life development and change, which is why we only consider the hard aspects for the midpoint interpretation.
Regarding B/C: Slower (i.e. further from the Sun) planet influences the faster (closer to the Sun) planet.
Regarding A (the planet aspecting the midpoint): it will affect the midpoint, or be affected by the midpoint – again, depending on the apparent speed of the planet’s movement (see metaphor below.)
Metaphors for Interpreting Midpoints
Picture yourself as a child, and in between your parents. Being in the middle, you were greatly affected by the quality of their interaction (e.g. were they warm or cold toward each other? Did they argue a lot or ignore each other? Etc.) In the same way, a planet in the midpoint of two other planets that are more powerful (i.e. that have slower orbits) will be greatly affected by their interaction.
Now consider another metaphor: This time picture yourself as the adult, sitting between your two children. Just by being in their middle, you affected the quality of their interaction (e.g. they either behaved themselves better, or became more obnoxious toward each other by trying to compete for your attention, etc.) In the same way, a powerful planet in the midpoint of two lesser planets will strongly affect their interaction.
Example of Some Midpoints
- Mercury/Jupiter midpoint – Rewarding and Expansive Communication: Jupiter (being the slower planet) influences Mercury: So this midpoint represents the experience of being rewarded (Jupiter) for one’s communication. Any planet in hard aspect to this midpoint will carry this sense of expansive communication. This is why MC (midheaven) = Mercury/Jupiter often denotes a professional writer.
- Venus/Mars midpoint – Passionate Involvement: Mars influences Venus: Romance and relationship is heated up, made passionate. This is the midpoint of sexual and artistic passion. Saturn placed at this midpoint (Saturn=Venus/Mars) will necessitate restraint on passion, whereas Jupiter or Uranus placed here may intensify the
passion to excess.
- Sun/Moon midpoint – Relationship Fulfillment: Sun influences Moon: One’s Reigning Need (Moon) is fueled by Life Energy (Sun). This is the strongest point of individual need fulfillment, and thus it has to do with relationships and self-acceptance on a deep level. Neptune placed at this midpoint (Neptune=Sun/Moon) may suggest bewildering experiences in relationships, whereas Saturn placed here will necessitate growth and maturity in relationships.
Further Applications: Transit and Solar Arc
Even without any natal planet or point to occupy it, a particular midpoint can be activated via transit or solar arc. For instance,
a prolonged transit of Uranus to Mercury/Jupiter midpoint could excite the expansion of communication, perhaps resulting in new ideas or fresh business deals.
An outer planet transit or solar arc to the Sun/Moon midpoint often has a deep impact on our relationships and self-image.
Update: Midponts in Synastry
Another person’s planet or an Angle contacting your midpoint could be significant, especially in the case of Sun/Moon midpoint. If you’re interested, check out this post on Sun/Moon Midpoint in Synastry.
How to Calculate Midpoints
You could simply calculate the degree difference between 2 planets or points and divide in half. Or, you can just use this link for Calculating Midpoints Online. To obtain a full list of all midpoints in your natal chart, you can follow the steps in this post.
If you have an astrological software that calculates midpoints, you can print a “90 degree sort” table, or “Midpoint Tree” in order to get all midpoint pictures in your natal chart.
Usually an orb of 1.5~2.0 degrees is suggested to calculate midpoints.
Summary and Recommendation for Further Study
Over the last 10 years I’ve studied well-known works on midpoints interpretation by various astrologers, and use them regularly in my consultation practice. They truly offer a fascinating additional dimension to the interpretation of natal chart and transit & Solar Arc development.
Because study of midpoints is a huge subject, it would take a lot more than this introductory post to cover adequately. For those of you who’d like to study more, I’d recommend two works especially:
- Noel Tyl’s midpoint interpretation book is available as an appendix to his popular book “Solar Arcs”, or his 1000 page text “Synthesis & Counseling in Astrology.”
- Don McBroom’s book “Midpoints” also offers an alternative interpretation that is quite helpful to anyone who wants to use
midpoints in an empowering way.
There are other well-known works on midpoints, notably by Reinhold Ebertin (Combination of Stellar Influences), but the above mentioned books are more modern and accessible compared to this 60+ year-old text.
Do you have an interesting midpoint picture that gives additional insights into your character and motivation? Please feel free to share through emails or comments!
(photo by Tambako the Jaguar)